The (In)Expense of a New York Disability Attorney
Frank J. Dito, Jr.
Many clients looking to file a Social Security disability claim believe that hiring a New York disability attorney is an expensive, unnecessary step. The truth is, the experienced help of an attorney has been shown to increase typical settlements in many Social Security disability claims. The money you spend on your attorney is typically recovered in the increased settlement amount you may receive.
When you begin your relationship with your New York disability attorney, they will most likely offer a free consultation and ask for no up-front fees. This is because most attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no legal fee due unless the attorney wins your case.
In the state of New York disability attorneys are entitled to 25% of any back payment you are awarded, capped at $5,300. Some attorneys do charge additional expenses, such as travel, or fees for acquiring medical records, but all of these fees should be disclosed in your contract for legal representation and discussed before you retain their services.
Most contracts include an option for the lawyer to file a fee petition which is a request for more than 25% of your back pay. This is done in the event your case requires an unusual amount of work or because your case did not involve back pay. If a fee petition is filed by your New York disability attorney, it will include an itemized listing of all work performed on behalf of your case and be presented to a judge for approval. You have the right to object or comment on the fee petition before the judge gives a ruling.
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