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Q & A: How do Social Security Disability advocates get paid?

Many people wish they had someone to help them help them with their applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. They have heard scary stories about how long it takes, about how complicated the process seems, and about how arbitrary the Social Security Administration can be. However, they hesitate because they think they can't afford to hire anyone. After all, they are applying for benefits because they cannot work and have no job income. Lawyers or other advocates are expensive.

The bad news is that everything you've heard about SSD is probably true - at least some of the time. The good news, however, is that you can afford an advocate to help you get the benefits you need and deserve. It's surprisingly simple: An advocate or attorney usually gets paid only when you get paid.

But, you may ask, how does this help me? I still have no money to pay someone, even if my claim is approved. But you will, because an advocate's routine fees come directly from the past due benefits that accumulate between the time you file your application and the date that your benefits are approved. They are the benefits you would have received if your claim had been approved the very next day.

Moreover, there is a limit on how much an advocate can charge for routine fees - a limit set by the Social Security Administration. Currently, the amount that can be charged by a SSD advocate is 25 percent of the past due benefits owed to you. That amount is currently capped at $6,000 in most cases. Of course, the amount could change, depending on the economy and other factors.

In addition to the past due benefits, some applicants are eligible for retroactive benefits for the time period between becoming disabled and actually filing their claims. They could receive benefits for up to 12 months, depending on when they became disabled according to a doctor.

Figuring out your eligibility for retroactive and past due benefits is just one of the many challenges of filing an SSD claim. Because of the complexity of the rules and the procedures, applicants for SSD benefits almost always do better with an advocate like those at Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Do what hundreds of thousands of other have done: Call Binder & Binder today. Tell them your story and learn how they can help.

Source: Charles E. Binder, Social Security Disability and You, Jan. 2013.

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