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Social Security fee agreements

Most disabled individuals seek one of two forms of disability insurance: 1) Social Security disability, or 2) private disability insurance through an employer. Often a person will be applying for both types of insurance, since private disability policies usually require the person, if eligible, also to apply for Social Security.

Fortunately, attorney fee agreements for Social Security benefits are regulated by Social Security. Generally, attorneys use contingency fee agreements in Social Security cases. A lawyer using this type of agreement is allowed, by law, only to charge 25% of a person's retroactive benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000.  [Ed. Note: The maximum dollar amount may have increased after 2015.] 

A lawyer may successfully petition Social Security for more than the maximum if he or she can document a valid reason for an increased fee. A lawyer may additionally charge reasonable expenses in addition to the fee.