Issues with Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants are incredibly common. Even when you have a legitimate condition that prevents you from working, you can get a rejection from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is because the SSA is looking for specific criteria and evidence before they accept your application and start awarding your benefits. But you can find out what it takes to appeal the application, or ensure your first application is sufficient, by hiring a Social Security Disability lawyer.
If you’re considering hiring a lawyer to help you with your Social Security Disability application, chances are you’re concerned about cost. Thankfully, most clients find hiring an SSD attorney is more than worth it—and there’s no need to worry about paying until the case is closed. Here’s what you need to know about how SSD attorneys get paid in the State of Georgia.
What Does Working with a Social Security Disability Lawyer Look Like?
A Social Security Disability lawyer is helpful for many reasons. They can help if you are:
- Wanting to increase your odds of getting approved from the beginning
- Needing to appeal an application after being denied benefits
- Overwhelmed by the paperwork process
- Not familiar with how to file your application or what all to include
- Wanting to make sure you get the maximum financial gain
The SSD application process is lengthy and often complicated. If you were injured and now can’t work, a good attorney can help fight for your right to receive the Social Security Disability you’ve paid into for many years.
What Is the Pay Structure of Georgia Social Security Disability Lawyer?
If you’re already worrying about how to pay your bills and support your family, it’s understandable to be concerned about paying for a lawyer. But thankfully, most SSD lawyers work on what’s called a contingency basis. Simply put, they won’t charge you any attorney fees unless your case is won.
Breakdown of the SSD Attorney Fees
The attorney fee is typically handled as a percentage of the amount of money you’re initially awarded if you get approved for benefits. If the case is successful and you get benefits, the attorney fee is usually either 25% of your past-due benefits or $6,000—whichever is less. Basically, the fees cannot exceed $6,000. This is similar to the attorney fee for a workers’ compensation case and typically less than a personal injury attorney fee. However, it’s different because the Social Security Administration and Congress regulate fees for representation, and they are not negotiable.
Most Social Security Disability attorneys will not require this payment until after your case has been won and you receive your benefits. This makes hiring an SSD lawyer affordable without an upfront fee.
All attorney fees must be approved by Social Security. And although you will owe your attorney this fee after you receive benefits at the first hearing or reconsideration level, all ongoing SSD benefits you get will go completely to you.
Most lawyers will also not charge you for the initial consultation. This is a time for you both to get to know each other and discuss the details of your case.
Other Costs for Social Security Disability Cases
Besides the attorney fees, there are other out-of-pocket expenses, although a good attorney will make every effort to minimize these costs as long as it’s not detrimental to your case. And like with the attorney fee, most lawyers will not charge for these costs until the end of your case.
Here are some costs an SSD attorney may include in their “incidental expenses”:
- Gathering of updated medical records
- Witness or expert testimony
- Other research-related costs
- Filing fees
- Photocopying or postage charges
Any additional expenses should be included in a fee agreement you’ll be asked to sign when you choose a lawyer to represent you. (You’ll also be asked to sign an SSA-1696 form naming the lawyer as your representative and some medical release forms.) Also, read your fee agreement thoroughly and ask your SSD attorney about any additional costs that could come up. A good lawyer will be able to outline everything clearly for you. And any large expenses, such as a medical exam, will have to get your approval beforehand.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we never charge you a thing unless we win your case. And with more than 20 years of experience helping Social Security Disability applicants win the benefits they need, we know what the SSA is looking for. Let us give you a FREE consultation to discuss your case and how we can help. To get started today, call us at 404-400-4000, or complete the form to the right for your free consultation.