During a person’s working life, they will contribute thousands of dollars per year to Social Security. Most of that money will be collected when that person retires. However, a small portion of a person’s Social Security contribution goes toward the social safety net, including Social Security Disability Insurance. These funds are available to support people who are too sick or injured to work. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to access these funds — even when a person clearly needs them. Retaining an attorney to work through a disability case is often the best way to obtain a positive outcome. So, how much does a disability attorney cost in St. Louis? Let’s take a look at some information you might find helpful.
St. Louis Disability Lawyer Costs and Fees
A strict set of federal laws govern how much a disability attorney can charge a client to work on their case. It can take up to nearly two years for a person to begin to collect SSDI payments. An attorney can collect up to 25 percent of back-pay benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000 – whichever figure is lower. There are a few instances when an attorney can collect more than the $6,000 maximum, but those cases are sporadic. It is up to the Social Security Administration to determine if an attorney is entitled to more money.
The 25 percent or $6,000 figures only pay for the attorney’s time and actual work on the case. A client may need to pay additional fees to obtain necessary copies of a person’s medical records. The State of Missouri sets its own maximums for how much hospitals or other healthcare providers can charge to receive copies of medical records.
As of Feb. 2021, the most a Missouri healthcare provider can charge for copies of records is:
- $27.13 plus $0.62 per page for paper records.
- Up to $25.40 for records kept off-site.
- Up to $27.13 plus $0.62 page, or a total of $118.85, whichever is less for electronic records.
Do I have to pay a disability attorney upfront?
By and large, a disability attorney won’t ask a client to pay for the case upfront. Instead, they will take the case on contingency; this is where the previous figures for deducting back-pay come into play. However, a lawyer may ask for a few hundred dollars when they are retained to be kept in an escrow account to pay for records fees and other ancillary costs. Any money left in the account will be returned to the client when the case is over.
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