Maximum attorney fees in Social Security disability cases

What is the most a lawyer can charge in a Social Security case?

We have talked about the typical fee agreement when you are applying for Social Security disability benefits before. But I am often asked what is maximum someone can charge?

Social Security regulations set a cap for attorneys fees.  Originally, the fee cap was $4,000, then $5,300, and as of June 2009, the cap is $6,000.

Unless the representative is charging fees under a fee petition, the most the lawyer can charge is 6,000. Or, if you are reading this before June 2009, $5,300.

  • Sgabriel24

    if it is a max of 6000.00, why did my award letter state the government is withholding 13250.00 for my rep?

    • http://stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

      Well, withholding and paying-out are not the same thing. Often SSA will withhold 25% of the past due benefits, even if the amount is greater than the fee cap ($6k). SSA will then pay the fees and return the excess to the claimant. 

      However, I would encourage you to check the amount on the letter, to make sure it wasn’t $1,325 instead of $13,250. It could conceivably be $13k, but that would mean the back benefits would have to be around $53k, which would be a high amount. If the total amount is $53k, then congratulations indeed! However, fees are capped at $6k unless the attorney files and wins a fee petition.

      You can also check the award letter for the back benefits amount and then do some quick math to see what 25% of that is. If the letter does not specify to total back benefit amount, you can also call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and they should be able to tell you.

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