While the federal government and the state of California both have protections in place if you are disabled and unable to work, it can be tough to know exactly what money you are entitled to. Even though working with an attorney greatly increases your chances of winning social security benefits, people often worry they can’t afford the fees.
There is no need to be concerned about excessive lawyer fees – all SSDI claimants are protected by the SSA. When you work with the House of Justice on SSDI, we will ensure your application includes all the necessary documentation to prove your work history and medical condition. Even better, our legal team won’t cost you a dime unless you win social security benefits.
At the House of Justice, we specialize in disability benefits claims. Our team will work with you through every step of the process, from filing your initial claim to appeals. Call us at 1-800-840-8080 for a free consultation.
SSDI Lawyers: Federal & California State-Level Disability Benefits
The US government and the state of California both provide social security benefits for people who are unable to work due to injury or illness.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is offered by the federal government to support individuals who are disabled and unable to work for at least 12 months.
- California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a state-run program that supports people that are disabled and unable to work for shorter periods of less than 12 months.
Do I Need Separate SSDI Lawyers for CA & Federal Benefits?
If you live and work in the state of California, you should apply for both SDI and SSDI benefits. To this end, it is often the case that SDI benefits will keep you covered while you wait for approval on your SSDI application. In fact, any qualified disability attorney in California should instruct you to follow this path with your social security benefits applications.
Fee Structures, Caps, and Regulations for SSDI Lawyers
The SSA put together tight regulations on the fees that SSDI lawyers can charge when working social security cases.
Contingency-Based Fee Structure
Some people are deterred from hiring a disability attorney because they can’t afford to pay upfront fees. However, as the Disability Benefits Center website explains, “when you schedule a consultation with a disability attorney … you won’t have to pay any money upfront. In fact, federal law protects you from ever having to do so.”
As stipulated by law, SSDI lawyers must work on a contingency basis. No matter if your SSDI case takes 3 months or 2 years, it won’t cost you a dime unless you win benefits. Even more, you won’t have to pay any money until your case is settled and you have begun receiving SSDI benefits.
Federal Cap on fees for SSDI Lawyers
When you work with a lawyer on an SSDI case, you are only responsible for a single payment after your application is accepted.
To protect disabled claimants, the SSA put strict caps on the amount of money that disability attorneys can charge on SSDI cases. No matter the size and scope of your SSDI application, lawyer fees for these cases are limited to whichever figure is less between either 25% of your back pay, or $7,200.
As the Disability Benefits Help website explains, back pay should be thought of as “the benefits that you would have received from the time when you apply for benefits to when your claim is approved, minus a 5-month waiting period.” As such, the longer your SSDI application takes, the more money you will receive in back pay.
SSA Approval for SSDI Fee Agreement
Importantly, the SSA must approve any fee agreement you make with a legal team concerning your SSDI payments. More often than not, your disability attorney will submit the fee agreement to the SSA when they decide to take on your case in the first place.
SSDI fee agreements with lawyers are generally straightforward. They will stipulate that lawyer fees for the case are limited to either 25% of your back pay or $7,200 – whichever is less. Beyond that, the fee agreement must include signatures from both the claimant and the lawyer.
What Additional Costs Might Arise During the Process of Filing SSDI Claims?
Since the SSA has put strict caps on the amount of money that law firms can charge for SSDI cases, there aren’t any hidden costs to worry about. However, there are some slight variations on fee structures used by certain SSDI law firms.
While all disability lawyers work on a contingency basis, some choose to charge small upfront fees to cover administrative costs. In these rare cases, your disability lawyer will hold funds in a “trust account” that is used to cover expenses along the way. Any funds that are not used are returned when the case reaches a conclusion.
Since the House of Justice is 100% commission-based, we don’t charge anything up front for administrative costs.
How Can Clients Evaluate if an SSDI Attorney is Qualified?
To ensure that your choice of attorney has the expertise to get your SSDI application handled correctly and efficiently, you should ask about their track record with SSDI. That being said, only the best disability lawyers can consistently win cases, while also moving their clients through the SSA application process at a reasonable rate.
It’s important to note that nearly 80% of all SSDI cases are denied. When you work with a skilled attorney like those at the House of Justice, you have a much higher chance of success – whether it be in the first round of applications or through an appeal. In fact, the Disability Benefits Center website tells us, “disability applicants that hire an attorney may have a three times higher chance of getting approved for disability benefits” than those who file on their own.
Get SSDI Benefits & Save on Fees with the House of Justice
The social security benefits application process is complex. Even more, it can take anywhere from 3 to 24 months to complete. Not only does working with the House of Justice significantly increase your chances for success, but we will also get your SSDI application filed with all the details you need in a timely fashion.
SSDI cases with the House of Justice are 100% commission-based – we won’t charge any money unless you win SSDI benefits. The House of Justice is the first and only SSDI law firm that specializes in helping Spanish-speaking Hispanics in the USA. Contact Us today!
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