How Much Does a Disability Lawyer Cost in Spokane?
Get the Strongest Help Possible for Social Security Disability
When you're applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, the last thing you want to worry about is spending a lot of money.
After all, the whole point is to qualify for money you desperately need, so you can maintain your independence and dignity when you can’t work because of bad health.
You might think the best way to save money is to handle your SSD claim yourself and avoid getting an attorney. But when it comes to Social Security Disability, the cost of legal representation is minimal, for a few reasons.
And having an experienced attorney can make a big difference for your SSD claim. It's worth reviewing your case with a lawyer before you try to do it yourself. You pay nothing for an initial consultation.
Why You Don’t Pay Up Front for a Social Security Disability Lawyer
There is no out-of-pocket cost to you when you work with a disability attorney like Gary Penar to represent you in your SSD proceedings.
You pay nothing unless you win your benefits, which means two things:
- You get 100% effort or else we don't get paid, and
- There is very little risk to you.
Even after you win benefits, your attorney fee comes from back benefits that accrue while you wait for Social Security to process your claim. That payment is limited to 25% of the past-due benefits you've been awarded, and it is further capped at $6,000.
This means you only pay us if we ensure that you can afford to pay us.
How Does an Attorney Help in SSA Proceedings?
Attorneys can help you navigate your claim effectively and efficiently.
While applying for benefits might seem manageable on your own, most Social Security Disability applicants are denied on the first attempt.
You may need to appeal. And appealing successfully is where you really need help from a lawyer who knows the Social Security system.
You’re facing a multi-step process, possibly including testifying in a hearing before a Social Security administrative law judge, asking for a review from Social Security’s Appeals Council, and even filing a lawsuit in federal court.
The Social Security Administration itself has said your odds are better if you have professional representation.
Can I Hire a Non-Attorney Advocate Instead?
In Social Security claims, you can choose to have a non-attorney advocate represent you at your disability hearing.
If this appeals to you because it seems like middle ground between representing yourself and hiring an attorney, note that the cost is the same but you get more with a lawyer:
An attorney must have a juris doctor degree and must pass the bar exam. This means they're trained to understand the rules of evidence, administrative law like what you find at Social Security, complex legal matters, cross-examination, and writing legal briefs and other documents.
A non-attorney advocate must have a bachelor's degree and pass a written exam given by the SSA. There's no guarantee that they have the specific legal training your attorney will have.
Further, an attorney is bound by the legal profession’s rules of professional conduct and ethics, and must maintain confidentiality. A non-attorney advocate is not governed by the same rules and is not legally required to maintain confidentiality.
Perhaps the most important distinction: An attorney can see your claim through to the end, even if it must be appealed to U.S. District Court. A non-attorney advocate cannot represent you in a court outside Social Security’s process.
Rather than risking your benefits by handling it yourself or choosing the middle ground, take the low-risk approach of hiring an experienced disability attorney.