How Do Attorneys Fees Work in a Long Term Disability Case?

Hi, I’m Nick Ortiz. I’m a board-certified disability attorney in Florida. I’m licensed to practice in Florida and California, but I do handle long term disability cases nationwide.

One of the top questions that I get is, how do the attorney’s fees work? How do we pay for an attorney to handle my case? Well, attorneys typically get paid in one of two ways.

One is by the hour and the other is on a contingency fee. And the contingency fee makes the most sense in a long term disability case because a lot of our clients, when they’ve been terminated benefits or denied benefits, they don’t have any income coming in, so they cannot pay an hourly rate. That’s why the contingency fee makes the most sense, because you only pay a fee at the end of the case if and when you receive benefits.

Now, there are two key time components in a long term disability case of when it may end.

First of all, you may win your case during the appeal process if the insurance company based on your appeal puts you back on claim and reinstates your benefits without the need to file a lawsuit. In that case, our firm charges 33.33% of the back due benefits that you’re owed as a fee.

If your case needs to go to court, it’s slightly different. If it goes to court, then the fee does go up a little bit to 40% of any back due benefits that you are owed if you’re put on claim, meaning that the insurance company starts to pay you benefits. However, often times the insurance company doesn’t want to put you on claim but they want to settle your case for a lump sum amount. In that case, our firm rolls back the 40% fee to 30% of the total settlement amount.

This is very different than a lot of other firms in that most firms, when they take your case to court and it settles for a lump sum, they will still charge you 40% of your settlement. Our firm does reduce that to 30%.

Another way that we’re very different than a lot of other firms is that my firm only assesses a fee on any back due benefits after you’re put on claim. What that means is if it takes us six months, and your benefits are reinstated, we only charge a fee on that six-month period of time. We don’t charge a fee on future benefits that you may receive from the insurance company. A lot of other firms will say that you wouldn’t be receiving these benefits if it weren’t for our assistance, and therefore, we’re gonna assess a fee on the next two years or five years or ten years or as long as you’re receiving the benefit. I don’t think that’s fair, and that’s why my firm will only charge a fee on back due benefits at the time your benefits are reinstated, because I think that my work is done at that point in time, and that’s why we think that that’s the only fair way of doing it.

So if you’d like to talk more about this, or you’d like to learn more about the long term disability process, I encourage you to download a free copy of the book I wrote, that’s titled the Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Long Term Disability Claim. You can download a free copy at, or call my office at 850-898-9904. We welcome the opportunity to discuss what we can do to help you. Thanks for watching.