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How do I pay my disability attorney?

Osterhout Berger Daley > Practice Areas  > Social Security Disability  > Common Questions > How do I pay my disability attorney?

Although there are many differences between Social Security Disability attorneys, their fee agreements are almost always the same or quite similar. The reason for this is that fee agreements between attorneys and Social Security Disability claimants are regulated by law, and a copy of the fee agreement must be submitted to Social Security, who makes sure that the fee agreement meets the requirements of the law.

What our agreement says, and what the law requires, is that you will only pay a fee if you are successful in your claim. If you are awarded benefits, then the fee is 25% of your “past due benefits”. “Past due benefits” are the monthly checks that have accumulated since you first applied up and until the month you are awarded benefits. The fee does not reduce any monthly checks you begin to receive after Social Security finds in your favor.

If we are successful in obtaining benefits without having to appeal to the federal courts, the law also sets a maximum fee.  The maximum fee has been adjusted over time, and in May 2024, Social Security announced that the maximum would be raised to $9,200, effective November 30, 2024, and that starting in January 2026 there will be annual assessments of the maximum fee based on cost of living adjustments.  If an appeal to the federal court is necessary this maximum fee is not applicable.

The other issue in a fee agreement is the costs associated with obtaining medical evidence, such as medical reports and/or medical records from hospitals or your treating doctors. Social Security does not have any rule for this, but what we do is agree that we will pay any costs associated with getting your case ready for a hearing. We will keep track of the amount we have spent and, if you win your case, you agree that you will reimburse us for any costs we have advanced. On the other hand, if we have spent money for records or reports and you do not win your case, then we will not ask you to reimburse us. It is impossible to predict precisely how much these costs will be in an individual case, but in our experience, the costs rarely exceed $200.

If you feel that you want to be represented by an attorney, please feel free to review our reasons why you should choose us to determine whether we would be a good fit for you.

To discuss your SSI and SSD benefits with an experienced Social Security Disability law attorney, please call us at 412-794-8003 (locally in the Pittsburgh area) or toll free at 1-866-438-8773 (outside the Pittsburgh calling area). If you prefer, you can fill out our intake form, and an experienced lawyer will contact you to schedule an appointment.

Need an SSD Attorney? We’re Here to Help

Navigate the complex world of Social Security Disability with Osterhout Berger Daley. Our experienced attorneys are ready to assist you. For a complimentary, confidential consultation, call 412-794-8003 or 866-438-8773 , or use our contact form.