Can I Hire a Free Disability Lawyer?
Health problems can easily trigger financial problems. If you have to step away from work, your income stops.
Social Security Disability benefits can step in—with monthly checks to keep you financially stable and eligibility for Medicare to take care of your health care needs.
But an overwhelming majority of people get denied by Social Security Disability.
A type of lawyer—a Social Security Disability lawyer—can get you through the government maze of applying for disability benefits.
But again—money is tight.
You wonder: “How can I afford a disability lawyer? How to hire a free disability lawyer near me?”
There is good news: For a Social Security Disability attorney, you don’t pay anything up front, or out of your pocket.
That doesn’t mean a disability lawyer will work for free, but that the process for paying a disability attorney is designed to be easy for you.
At Levine Benjamin Law Firm in Detroit, we’ve helped 80,000 people across Michigan and Ohio.
Let us explain how our lawyer fees are set up…
If there’s No Such Thing as a Free Disability Lawyer, How Does a Lawyer Get Paid?
This is how fees for disability attorneys work:
- You only pay an attorney fee when you win benefits.
- The lawyer fee comes out of your one-time pay for back benefits.
- You pay nothing from your month-to-month benefits going forward.
- The lawyer fee is capped at certain limits.
This method of paying a lawyer is called a “contingency fee” arrangement.
Because there’s no fee until you win, you don’t have to pay up front.
Because the fee comes out of your back benefits, you don’t have to pay out of your bank account.
Social Security awards you back benefits to compensate for the time you spent waiting on your benefits to be approved. It often takes months, or longer, to get a yes answer on Social Security Disability benefits.
They recognize that you qualified for disability this whole time, but you weren’t receiving benefits.
So they give you a lump sum in back pay, going back to the date they determined that you first qualified for benefits, and then they start your monthly checks going forward.
Social Security pays your disability attorney directly out of that back pay. It’s a one-time payment to your attorney.
Under the government rules, your lawyer receives 25 percent of your back benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000.
Your lawyer does not receive anything from your regular disability checks going forward, only the one-time fee from the back pay.
So not only do you not pay up front, or out of pocket, you also don’t pay anything on an ongoing basis.
Both Social Security itself, and the Social Security Disability attorneys who help people get benefits, understand that you’re not in a position to afford expensive lawyers when you can’t work because of serious medical conditions.
That’s why the system is set up this way.
How Can I Tell if I Should Get a Social Security Disability Attorney?
While you can’t technically hire a disability lawyer for free, because of the back benefits arrangement, you can talk to a disability lawyer about your situation for free.
When you’re trying to find out if you have a good disability case, or what your disability claim will involve, you can get a free consultation from a disability law firm.
At Levine Benjamin Law Firm, we don’t charge you to tell us about your circumstances and give you an evaluation of your case and what you can expect.
We may be able to say whether you have a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you have a substantial recent work history. Or if your income and financial assets are low, we may say you could get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Because of the additional financial hardship you face to qualify for SSI, you may also wonder if you can get an SSI lawyer for free, or if there are free SSI lawyers near you.
The attorney fee structure works the same way for SSDI lawyers and SSI disability lawyers: no fee until you win; Social Security pays your lawyer out of your one-time back pay.
So do you need a lawyer at all?
We recommend it, for several reasons:
- Disability lawyers relieve you of the legwork of applying for benefits.
- Disability lawyers help you avoid mistakes that can hurt your claim.
- Disability lawyers can handle your appeal if you’re denied, which is a more complicated process.
- Disability lawyers can represent you in front of a disability judge if you need to go to a disability hearing.
- Disability lawyers can provide personal attention during a difficult process.
- Disability lawyers can improve your chances of winning benefits.
Because you don’t pay a lawyer fee until you win—but when you win you get monthly checks on a permanent basis that help you keep your life on steadier ground—there’s little risk for you in getting a lawyer.
If you’re wondering whether you can find a free SSI lawyer or disability lawyer in Detroit, or anywhere in Michigan or Ohio—because you need financial relief after bad health stopped you from working—reach out to see how Levine Benjamin’s disability attorneys could help you.