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, the cost of legal representation is minimal, for a few reasons.
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.
There is no out-of-pocket cost to you when you work with a disability attorney to represent you in your Social Security proceedings.
You pay nothing unless you win your benefits, which means two things:
Even after you win benefits, the attorney’s fee comes from back benefits that accrue while you wait for Social Security to process your claim. The attorney fee 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.
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 an 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.
I highly recommend Them if you're in need of a disability lawyer.Eric Penar did a amazing job helping me win my disability case.i cant thank him enough for winning my difficult case.a real professional and great guy.
I was so glad to have this team in my corner! They treated me with such kindness and made a stressful process manageable. I was well prepared for my hearing and I know I can call with questions in the future as well. I highly recommend this team! Thank you Eric, Nick and Precious especially, for all your expertise, work, and kind professionalism!!! So grateful for the win! A great weight is lifted!
Eric Penar and his staff are amazing! Eric, Nick, Amy, and Precious all worked with me in a very timely and professional manner to get a great outcome for disability benefits. Can't recommend Penar Law enough for their great work!
Very good and helpful
Amy and Precious go above and beyond the call of duty! They are the most caring ladies! Professional and kind! Went way out of their way to help me with a personal matter even years after my case was won! Yes Gary Penar won my case and then came back and saved my tail again! Nick was my contact person and he was incredibly kind! My story is a dark one and I have SSDI because of PTSD. The staff was very patient with me and worked hard to win my case! Thank You Amy! your Kindness will never be forgotten!!!
The legal team here at Gary Penar law office provided exceptional help getting my husband's Social Security claim complete. From beginning to end they are an amazing office. I will recommend them to friends and family.
Gary Penar Law Offices, especially Nick, were very helpful, knowledgeable, and responsive to my case. I highly recommend them!
They were kind and understanding. Made me feel at ease with the whole process.
Gary and Eric are top-notch attorneys for Social Security Disability and all their assistants are well trained and knowledgeable. This is undeniably one of the best firm's in Spokane. Highly recommend!