Texas residents filing a case or appeal for benefits with the Social Security Disability Administration should consider obtaining a skilled SSDI representative to work on their behalf. The rules and guidelines governing social security disability benefits are detailed and complex. A procedural misstep alone could compromise a claimant’s right to benefits. The cost of hiring an attorney can be invaluable.
Texas Disability attorneys are well versed in how the SSDI administration works and advocate strongly for clients seeking benefits. While you may understand the benefit of hiring an attorney, you may also be wondering how much does it cost for a disability lawyer in Texas? As you likely are suffering a negative financial impact from your disability, this is a valid concern.
Let’s examine the cost of disability representation in Texas more closely.
How Does Hiring an SSDI Attorney in Texas Work?
If you have suffered a work-ending disability in Texas, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. The best first step is to contact an attorney skilled in navigating Texas Social Security benefits claims.
When you meet with a qualified SSD attorney, you will better understand how to move forward with your benefits claim. Your attorney will explain:
- The requirements for disability claims
- The evidence needed to substantiate your claim
- The rules and regulations guiding claims approval
- Potential court rulings that may apply to and impact your case
After establishing your claim’s viability, you and your attorney will enter into a fee agreement for representation.
Fee Agreements and the Cost of Disability Representation in Texas
Once you have decided to retain an attorney and move forward with your Texas Social Security disability claim, you will likely wonder how you will be able to pay your attorney?
By law, disability lawyers in Texas work on contingency, meaning they are paid for their services if and when you are awarded disability benefits. Further, there are strict guidelines regarding fees for services and expenses on disability claims:
- 25% of the back-pay of your claim
- maximum of a $6000 fee
- the anticipated fee and expenses must be detailed in a fee agreement
- the fee agreement, or fee petition, must be filed with the Social Security
Fee agreements vary by attorney. It is essential you carefully read and thoroughly understand the fee agreement you are signing. Be sure that the agreement clarifies any potential expenses that may be billed to you due to your case, i.e., copy services, postage, telephone calls, records charges, and other professional fees, such as for notary services or physicians’ statements.
You may also ask your attorney to waive all fees if you are denied SSD benefits. Some attorneys will charge incidental expenses regardless of a won or lost case, while others waive all costs in the absence of a win. Include this arrangement in your fee agreement.
Paying Your Attorney’s Contingency Fee
Disability attorneys are entitled to fees only from the amount of backpay you are owed. If you do not receive back pay as part of your disability award, your attorney will not receive payment for services. If you are awarded back pay, Social Security will automatically issue payment to your attorney equaling 25% of the award, up to $6000 maximum.
Incidental expenses are not paid to your attorney from your back pay. You are responsible for those expenses out-of-pocket, and attorneys may request a pay-as-you-go or retainer arrangement. Retainers are allowed only if your attorney holds the money in a separate account and withdraws payments for direct reimbursement of expenses.
Consult a Texas Disability Attorney for Help
If you or someone you love is considering filing for Social Security disability benefits, it’s wise to seek the help of an attorney experienced in Social Security disability claims.
Determining your benefits rights based on Social Security disability guidelines can be challenging, let alone attempting to navigate the complex regulations that govern SSD claims and appeals.
Contact our office today to discuss your case with a seasoned Texas disability lawyer. Driven by a deep commitment to our clients, we put our knowledge and tenacity to work for you, providing sound legal advice and reliable representation throughout your case.