Can I Afford to Get a Disability Lawyer?

    Applying for Social Security Disability benefits is complicated and intimidating to tackle on your own. You want help, but you worry what a good disability lawyer might cost.

    You can put your mind at ease. Social Security sets limits on what disability attorneys can collect, and the best part: attorney fees only come due if you win your claim.

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a careful process to ensure attorney fees are acceptable so clients can afford the services they need—someone to help you through the maze of the disability benefits process toward financial relief, more peace, and security when health problems push you out of work.

    Wisconsin Social Security Disability Lawyer Tim Geary works with this system every day. He’s helped thousands of Wisconsinites. He knows money is a major worry when you can’t work because of medical conditions, and he’s proud to help people reach better situations.

    It costs you nothing to get started with a Social Security Disability lawyer, including an initial evaluation of your case.

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    How Does Social Security Regulate Disability Lawyer Fee Limits?

    In most cases, Social Security pays fees directly to the attorneys. So the government sets the ground rules, and attorneys will not bill their clients.

    Because you may understandably be living on a tight budget, it’s comforting to know that attorney fees won’t carve deep into your bank account or future disability benefits.

    To begin, a client and disability attorney must sign a fee agreement. This agreement sets the boundaries of fees to be paid.

    Any fee agreement must fall within the attorney fee limits set by Social Security, which were updated on Nov. 30, 2022. This is how it works:

    • Your lawyer’s fee only comes out of your back benefits—a lump sum to compensate you for the time you spend waiting on benefits approval. It doesn’t touch your monthly disability checks going forward.
    • The attorney fee is always capped at 25 percent of those back benefits with a maximum fee set at $7,200 absent specific exceptions.

    Your attorney must submit the fee agreement to Social Security before Social Security delivers a favorable decision in the case. Social Security will approve that fee agreement when it delivers a favorable decision.

    Again, no attorney fees are paid unless Social Security awards a favorable decision. No Win Means No Fee.

    Disability benefits can set you on a path to improving your life. Get in touch with someone knowledgeable about how your health problems can qualify for benefits. And someone compassionate—who will give you personal attention in an impersonal process and fight for you.

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    When Does Social Security Deny a Disability Attorney Fee Agreement?

    There are cases when Social Security denies a disability attorney fee agreement.

    If you come across a disability lawyer who does these two things, the arrangement will be rejected:

    1) The fee structure exceeds the lower of the two limits—either 25 percent of back benefits or $7,200. This naturally occurs on any case that goes to Social Security’s Appeals Council or to federal court when a standard fee agreement is utilized.

    2) The fee agreement contains a requirement that the attorney must be paid at least a minimum amount no matter what—Social Security protects disability applicants by not allowing this.

    Can a Social Security Disability attorney ever collect above the $7,200 limit?

    There are rare cases when attorneys can collect above the Social Security attorney fee limits.

    1) You get a new attorney and your previous attorney did not waive attorney fees. In these cases, the new attorney must file a petition to split the attorney fees with the old attorney. If both attorneys do significant work on your disability claim, Social Security may approve fees for both that can total more than $7,200.

    2) Your case makes it to the Appeals Council or federal court. Should you win your case, however, you may be eligible to have the government pay some of your fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

    It’s also important to note that fee agreements don’t always include out-of-pocket expenses an attorney may incur, such as postage or costs to access your medical records. Be sure to bring this up with your disability lawyer when you make your arrangements with them.

    At Geary Disability Law, we want to help bring stability to your life so you can focus on your health and your overall well-being.

    If you live in Green Bay, Appleton, anywhere in the Fox Valley or across Northeast Wisconsin and can’t work due to bad health, get in touch with us.

    Contact Us Today!

    Hear from a Geary Law Firm Client

    “Helped me every step of the way, and won my case for me. I am not rich, and he had my best interests at heart. I would highly recommend him, as I have already done, several times.”

    Kim Burr in Google Reviews


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