Disability lawyer and legal aid
Can I hire a disability lawyer for free?
If you have been disabled and out of work for many months its likely you are facing a financial crisis. If you have applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you may have been denied and now realize that you need a disability lawyer to help you win your disability benefits.
Recently on our disability forum we had a claimant ask, I have been out of work for many months and need to hire a disability lawyer. Is there an organization who provides legal aid to hire disability lawyers or do disability lawyers ever work for free?
Hiring a disability lawyer
Although many disability applicants will not need legal assistance to win SSDI or SSI benefits, some disability applicants will be too sick to navigate the SSA disability process on their own or will be denied multiple times and will need a disability lawyer to fight for them.
The good news is that disability lawyers, like many other types of lawyer, work on a contingency fee. This means they are only paid if they win your case. If you lose your case they are not paid. This can be good news or bad news for disability applicants. Because disability lawyers are not paid if they lose, there will be many cases they are not willing to take. For instance, if they do not think they can win your case they may refuse to take it. But the fact that you do not have to pay them unless you win your SSDI case can also be good news for many claimants because you will not have to gather a large retainer fee to hire them.
What if the lawyer will not take my case?
It is not unusual for a disability lawyer to refuse to take a claimants case. As mentioned above, if this happens it is generally because they do not believe they have a good case. This can occur for a variety of reasons: the claimants condition will not last 12 continuous months, the claimants condition is not severe, the claimant is not insured for SSDI, or the claimant is currently working and making too much money.
The disability lawyer or advocate is not required to take you case, and if you cannot find a lawyer you will have to file your case without legal assistance.
How much will the diability lawyer be paid?
How much will a lawyer cost? Like any other legal professional they are not cheap. If you win you will be required to pay them 25% of your back pay up to a maximum of $6,000. And dont think about not paying them. It wont be an option. The SSA will send them their payment BEFORE you are sent you back payment check.
Many claimants ask whether or not they will even get back pay. Although some claimants may get their SSDI immediately and will receive little or no back pay, because of the number of claimants who apply for SSDI benefits almost all recipients do have some back pay.
The good news is that you will not need legal aid to hire a lawyer, they will work on a contingency fee and will only be paid if you win your case. The bad news, if you dont have a good case you will have trouble finding a lawyer who will help you.