Many people apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) on their own, thinking that the cost of working with a Social Security Disability advocate is out of their reach.
The truth is, most advocates – including those at Mountain West Disability – don’t charge upfront fees or ask for a retainer. Advocates work on a contingency basis, which means they only earn a fee if they win an SSD claim. As a result, you can count on an advocate to make a great effort to ensure your case ends with an approval.
For more on how – and how much — a Social Security Disability advocate gets paid, read the information below.
The Contingency Fee
When you initially hire an advocate to help with your SSI or DIB case, you sign a contingency fee agreement. This allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide a payment upon claim approval.
The fee agreement will go through a review process by the SSA to ensure it meets the necessary guidelines. Your advocate will only receive the amount they are entitled to, which is limited to 25 percent of your past-due benefits and cannot exceed $6,000.
The Payment Arrangement
You don’t have to worry about paying your advocate after your disability claim is approved. This happens automatically, and the funds come from the past-due benefits you are awarded.
Before your first backpay check is issued, the SSA will take out the entire advocate fee. The payment can be up to $6,000, but quite often the amount falls below the cap.
If you aren’t awarded any back-dated disability benefits, your advocate will not receive a fee. In this situation, however, they can petition the SSA to request a reasonable fee for the services they have provided.
While you won’t have to pay any upfront Social Security Disability advocate fees, you may have to shoulder a few expenses as your disability claim proceeds.
Most attorneys and advocacy groups charge a fee to obtain your medical records. Mountain West Disability, however, covers this cost with no expectation of repayment. To get approved for SSI or DIB, you may need to schedule additional physical or psychological examinations, and these costs would be your responsibility as they are separate from the advocate fee. In addition, you may have photocopying and postage charges. The out-of-pocket costs are not excessive, and these are expenses you would have if you applied for SSI or DIB without the assistance of an advocate.
When you work with an experienced Social Security Disability advocate, like the team at Mountain West Disability, you increase your chance of getting approved for benefits. Based in northern Utah, we’ve been helping disabled individuals across the country for several years – and we always fight to get our clients every dollar they deserve.
For more information about Mountain West Disability, or to consult with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Social Security Disability advocates, contact us today.