Applying for Jobs with a Criminal Record: Know Your Rights

Applying for Jobs with a Criminal Record: Know Your Rights

Need Legal Help for Free? What to Know About Social Security Disability & Attorney's Fees

Michelle Garrett

Most all of us have seen the advertisements on television and on billboards that promise you can get an attorney to help you get your Social Security benefits approved for free. You may have wondered how that is possible, especially if you now find yourself in need of that type of legal help. If you have had your claim denied by the Social Security Administration and need some legal help, read on to learn about getting that help and how this arrangement works.

Help When You Need it Most

Few people who are filing for Social Security benefits have the means to hire an attorney to assist them with their appeal, so the concept of using a contingency fee arrangement came about. While most people are familiar with contingency fee arrangements when dealing with personal injury cases, the concept is also used for people who are expecting back pay from their Social Security claim. Just like personal injury cases, your Social Security attorney likely won't take your case unless there is good chance to win the case and you have some back pay owed to you.

Fee Agreement Guidelines

Not only is there legal help available in the form of contingency fee arrangements, but the Social Security Administration is involved in the approval process for these fee arrangements. Your agreement with the attorney, which is set out in a signed contract, must be submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for approval. For it to be approved, it must fall within the fee amounts set forth by the SSA, which follow:

  • If you don't win your appeal and get your claim approved, you don't owe the attorney any money for attorney's fees. You may still owe for some minor charges, like mailing and copying fees, however.
  • You can never be charged more than 25% of your back pay for legal representation, and never more than $6,000. For example, if your back pay owed comes to $10,000, the SSA will take $25,000 from that award and pay your attorney.
  • In special (and relatively rare) cases, the attorney may be allowed to exceed the caps shown above. For example, if the case is more involved and complicated than normal, has been "kicked up" to a higher hearing level, etc. It's important to know, however, that you and the attorney will always prepare a fee agreement to be approved by the SSA, so you will know the extent of the fees ahead of time.

To learn more about what having professional legal representation at your appeal hearing could mean, contact a Social Security firm like Drummond Law LLC-Disability Lawyers as soon as possible after your initial claim has been denied.


2019© Applying for Jobs with a Criminal Record: Know Your Rights
About Me
Applying for Jobs with a Criminal Record: Know Your Rights

I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.