The United States government provides a safety net to support people who cannot work because of a crippling physical injury or have a mental illness severe enough to not hold on to a job. However, it can be challenging for people to access Social Security disability benefits without retaining an attorney specializing in disability claims. An attorney is not provided to people free of charge in the administrative law system, meaning people requiring the assistance of a lawyer will have to pay for it out of their own pocket. So, how much does a disability attorney cost in New Orleans? Lawyers taking on these cases can only charge a disability client up to $6,000 or 25 percent of the back pay collected – whichever amount is lower.
What kind of fees can be charged by a disability lawyer?
A series of federal laws dictate how much and when a disability lawyer can charge fees. It is illegal for an attorney to charge fees for their time upfront, although they can ask for money to cover fees or other expenses they may encounter when working on the case. Money that is collected upfront for costs will be placed into something called a trust account. An attorney will let their client know when money is withdrawn from the account, and any money remaining in the account will be returned at the conclusion of the case.
No two disability cases are the same. A disability benefits case that requires multiple hearings or appeals may cost more than the $6,000 cap put in place by Social Security legislation. However, an attorney cannot simply send a client a bill above $6,000 out of nowhere. The lawyer must file a fee petition with the Social Security Administration to request more than the top-end limit. Social Security will review the petition to ensure the request for additional funds is reasonable.
How much does it cost to get medical records in Louisiana?
Obtaining copies of medical records is the most likely reason an attorney will need to spend money from the trust account. The State of Louisiana has placed some limits on how much hospitals or other healthcare providers can charge for making copies of patient records. A rough breakdown of the copying fees will look like this:
- 1-25 pages, $1 per page
- 26-350 pages, $0.50 per page
- 351+ pages, $0.25 per page
- $25 handling charge
- Actual postage costs
*Digital copies follow the same pricing structure with a maximum of $100, including postage and handling charges.
- Reasonable reproduction costs
- $20 Handling charge for hospitals; $10 for other healthcare providers
- Digital imaging copies cannot exceed $200, including all postage and handling costs.
There is no doubt that filing for Social Security benefits is a difficult process. Claimants working with an experienced and compassionate attorney may be able to get better outcomes. Make an appointment with one of our lawyers today.
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