If you are presently going through a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplementary Security Income (SSI) case, you may be considering hiring an SSI lawyer to help you with the proceedings. Social Security filing can be time consuming, confusing and expensive. Hiring an attorney will help you get through the process without making any drastic mistakes regarding filing, scheduling, etc.
It is important to thoroughly research lawyers and schedule a consultation with them before deciding on an attorney. If you live in the California area, you will have many lawyers to choose from and the needs of your case to consider. This article will break down how much a California disability lawyer costs.
SSI and SSDI attorneys only get compensated if they win your disability case. They draft written fee agreements that are submitted to the Social Security Administration for approval. The fee petition is an itemized list of all the attorney’s activities regarding the case. Social Security lawyers are prohibited for charging clients directly for their services, but they can and do charge for work expenses. This includes going to medical facilities to retrieve medical records, copying, filing and mailing records.
The attorney can ask you to pay for these costs which oftentimes do not exceed $200. The money is then put into a trust account – an account that works as an expense account during the case. The lawyer must notify you when they withdraw money and must return any unused funds to the claimant.
Social security lawyers petition the SSA for payment under strict guidelines. Their fee cannot exceed 25 percent or $6,000 of the claimant’s earnings. For example, if a claimant is awarded $15,000, the lawyer can only collect $3,750 or 6 percent of the settlement.
The only time disability lawyers can request more than the 25 percent limit is when the case goes through multiple appeals or hearings or to federal court. During these cases, the attorney will draft a fee petition and send it to the Administration.
The Social Security Administration handles the payment of attorneys. Their fee is automatically processed before you receive the payment. The fee agreement must be drafted by the attorney and signed by the claimant or the claimant’s guardian before it is sent to the Administration.
If you decide to discharge your present lawyer and hire a new attorney, you may still be responsible for the past lawyer’s fee if they did not waive their fee. If you have to change lawyers for any reason, it is important to make sure that the necessary steps are taken so that the previous lawyer’s fee is waived.
Getting A Lawyer
The cost of a California disability lawyer depends largely on your settlement amount or the length of your case. We’ve been helping disabled individuals in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Inland Empire, and Orange County get the disability benefits they need for years. Call Dr. Bill LaTour and his team today at 800-803-5090 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.