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How Does A Disability Lawyer Get Paid?

January 1, 2018

Last Updated: 7/11/2022

Many people wonder how a Social Security disability lawyer gets paid. Many claimants go to the Social Security Administration’s website and apply for disability benefits themselves. Unfortunately, many who file a disability claim alone find themselves receiving denial after denial.

Filing for Social Security disability is a long process that many find frustrating; Especially when physicians tell these claimants they are disabled but the claimant receives a denial letter. That’s usually when people seek out disability lawyers and advocates to help them fight in court.

Balin Law Attorney, Chad Delesk, explains how disability lawyers get paid:

Video transcript

“A great question I always get is how do we pay your fee? Well, the answer is pretty simple. It’s on a contingency fee basis. And it’s exactly that. Our fee is contingent on winning your case. Thus, if we don’t win, we don’t get paid a fee.”

How Much Does a Disability Lawyer Charge In Attorney Fees?

Disability lawyers typically handle cases on a contingency fee basis. If a case is won and if you are owed backpay benefits or past due benefits, a disability attorney will receive the lesser of 25% or $6,000 of those backpay (past due) benefits (cap will be raised to $7200 effective November 30, 2022). If a case is won after a successful appeal to the Appeals Council or Federal Court, then the contingency fee becomes a flat 25% of past due benefits. We don’t receive any payment unless and until we win your case. 

Looking to file a disability claim? Been denied?

Contact Balin Law for a free, no-obligation consultation 866-492-2546

Bonus: Read the benefits of hiring a Social Security disability attorney.


  1. Clare Martin on February 22, 2024 at 10:34 am

    It’s good that you informed us that disability lawyers handle their cases on a contingency fee basis usually so they get paid if the case is won. My aunt plans to get her disability benefits soon, so she needs legal help with her application to ensure it gets approved. I’ll take note of this while I look for a Social Security attorney in Detroit to hire for my aunt’s application soon.

    • BL-Disability on March 1, 2024 at 11:27 am

      Hi Clare,
      Glad to see you came back for your aunt in Detroit. Hope your sister in Sacramento is doing well. Balin Law’s attorneys help people get Social Security Disability benefits in Detroit, Michigan, and even in California!
      Yes, it’s still the same one-time fee; just 25% of the backpay Social Security owes you at the time you win. They’ll give us 25% directly and give you the other 75%, so you won’t even need to pay us. It’s just 25% of a lump sum that most people would never see otherwise, and there’s no ongoing fee or anything else.
      Balin Law’s attorneys would be happy to help your aunt in Detroit get the Social Security Disability benefits she deserves! Have her give us a call at 866-49-BALIN.

  2. Clare Martin on February 21, 2024 at 9:08 am

    I’m thankful you explained to us that disability lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis, so they will receive less than 25% when the case is won. My sister is currently unable to move his legs because of an accident, so she is considering claiming disability benefits soon because of this. I’ll take note of this while I look for a Social Security disability lawyer in Sacramento to hire for my sister’s claim soon.

    • BL-Disability on February 22, 2024 at 2:22 am

      That’s correct, no more than 25% of back benefits that the SSA would owe her. And that’s it. There are no other fees of any kind. Just a 1x portion of a lump sum most people wouldn’t ever get filing/appealing on their own anyway.

  3. Bethel Smith on September 21, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    This is very helpful to know. A friend of mine is currently looking into a situation like this and considering getting a lawyer. I will recommend that they really consider it since the lawyer’s payment is contingent on winning.

  4. […] are highly motivated to make sure all the evidence is presented in a logical fashion because we work on a contingency fee, which again, we’re not going to get paid unless we win your case. And we win your case in a […]

  5. Ron Booker on February 4, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    I’m glad you explained that disability lawyers are paid through a contingency basis wherein a percentage back pay to them. One of my uncles has been thinking of hiring a lawyer before filing for social security disability. With that being set, I will let him know this so he can begin interviewing some local lawyers.

  6. Millie Hue on January 17, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for helping me understand that disability lawyers are paid through a contingency basis wherein 25% of the back pay is given to them. I will share this information with my best friend who needs to hire one for their brother. They will be delighted to hear this since they are on a limited budget because they are already in deep debt due to medical bills for their brother’s treatment.

  7. Joy Butler on August 28, 2018 at 1:18 am

    This is the kind of information my uncle needs at the moment. He’s looking for a social security lawyer and had no idea on how he’ll be paying him just in case he gets one. I found it interesting when you said that it is based on a contingency fee.

    • Balin Law on August 28, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Joy, we are glad our post explaining how a disability lawyer gets paid is helpful for your uncle. Please call us if you have any questions 866-492-2546

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