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Confusion Regarding the Cost of Hiring a Disability Representative

Posted on in Social Security Disability

A gentleman by the name of Ryan asked me the following question yesterday over the phone:

I need to hire a representative for my SSI case and do not want to get ripped off. I know that there is no way I could complete the application by myself and would like someone there guiding me along the way. How do I know who to hire and if that person will give me a good deal and win my case?

Unlike other fields of law, the pay structure in disability law is completely government regulated. While attorneys who represent clients in contracts and corporate cases for example can charge any reasonable legal fees, disability cases do not give representatives the freedom to set their own cost structure. In disability law, the Social Security Administration set forth rules requiring anyone who represents you to take the same percentage if they win your case. Currently, SSA requires representatives to take no more than 25% of a claimant's backpay as legal fees. So, if you win a $4000 reward for your disability claim, your representative would be entitled to $1000 for legal services. Regardless of which claimants representative or attorney you hire to work on your case, you will never pay more than 25% for representation and payment will only be made upon successful completion of your claim.

When it comes to how you know which claimants representative or attorney to hire that is a more difficult question to answer. There are numerous factors that go into which representative is right for you and a lot of it depends on your situation and personal needs. It can be extremely beneficial to hire someone who will walk you through the Social Security disability benefits process step by step rather than hiring someone who will only help you after you have made application. Some representatives will have more time to spend with you on your claim and be available during longer hours than others. If you feel as though you will need extra attention, then you should make sure to make it clear to your representative what you would expect of him before you make the decision to have that person represent you. In addition, while not required, it is often a good idea to hire someone who is located close to where you live. This would make it easy to stop in and pay your representative a visit face to face. This could be very beneficial to you if you have any questions that you would rather discuss with your representative in person.

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