Social Security benefits on a computer screen

If you are applying for SSDI benefits or even if you are just thinking about it, you may be wondering if you need an SSDI lawyer. The lawyers at American Disability Action Group—or ADA—will be the first to tell you that not everyone applying for SSDI needs a lawyer. We can help you navigate how hiring an SSDI lawyer typically works, what it costs, and when you should consider hiring one for yourself.

Does Having an SSDI Lawyer Help You Get Approved for Benefits?

Let’s get this question out of the way first. Will having a lawyer even help you get approved for benefits? Both anecdotally and according to several studies, having an SSDI lawyer does increase your chances of getting approved for benefits. You don’t have to take our word for it either. Take it from the AARP.

“Research has shown that having a professional representative can boost your chances of getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).”

Read More: Can You Be on SSDI and Veterans Benefits at the Same Time?

How Does an SSDI Lawyer Get Paid?

Before we dig into when you should hire an SSDI lawyer, it’s helpful to understand the cost. The good news is that hiring an SSDI lawyer is often not a financial barrier. Most reputable SSDI lawyers work on contingency and only seek payment as a percentage of your back pay. By law, the Social Security Administration—SSA—requires reporting on these legal fees and limits how much they can be at 25% or $6,000.

Hang on for a moment though, allow us to explain some terms. First off, your back pay is pay that you would have received if the SSA had been able to approve your benefits immediately. If your established onset date was March of 2022, and you are finally getting approved in March of 2023, that’s 7 months of backpay (minus the 5-month waiting period). This is the only money most reputable SSDI lawyers touch, leaving much of it intact and not taking future payments or reducing payment from your future monthly benefits.

The other term we should explain is contingency. When a lawyer takes a case on contingency—something you should demand when seeking an SSDI attorney—it means they only get paid if they win. This makes sense given that most also take payment from backpay which you also only get if you win. In other words, a reputable SSDI attorney will not require an upfront payment.

How Much Can You Earn on SSDI?

Social Security form with denied stamp

When Should You Seek an SSDI Lawyer?

It’s worth getting a lawyer involved in your SSDI case as soon as possible though some lawyers may not take your case until you are denied the first time. If you reach that denial, do not fret as most people are denied the first time and the SSA provides a process to appeal that denial.

Read More: What to Do After You’ve Been Denied For SSDI?

Have Legal Questions About Your SSDI Case?

If you have legal questions or are looking for a lawyer, then you should reach out to the ADA. You can contact us directly through our website right now. There is no cost for reaching out to us so that we can review your case and we only work on contingency meaning there is no cost at all unless we win and that cost will come out of your back pay. What have you got to lose? Reach out to us today!

Nothing posted on this website is intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. Blog postings and site content are available for general education purposes only.