My father died. After his death, his lawyer won an appeal for a SSA disability payment. Do I have an obligation to the lawyer?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Benson, NC

I have never met nor spoken with the lawyer, and was estranged from my father- I did not even know about the pending SSA case. With my father's death, the SSA payment should be coming to me, and the lawyer is telling people he will come to me for his fees. I am in NC, but my father and the lawyer were in WV

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . I have practiced Social Security Disability law for 35 years. In your situtation the money goes to your father's estate. Typically, when an attorney is involved, the SSA will withhold 25% to pay the attorney.

    This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is... more
  2. Antonio L. Viera

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

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    Answered . Typically, SS pays the fee directly as a percentage of the retroactive benefits your dad was owed. It comes out of the past due amount.

  3. Timothy A. Provis

    Contributor Level 15

    2

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    Answered . Dear ?,

    The SSA payment goes to your father's estate, not to you. It will be a one time payment since the person entitled to monthly payments based on disability is no longer living.
    Whether you would be responsible for these legal fees depends on 1)what the written fee agreement between the lawyer and your father says and 2) what your father's will, if any, says.
    At such time as the lawyer sends you a letter about the matter, you will need to consult with counsel about it. Until then, you can ignore what people are telling you.

    Yours sincerely,
    Tim Provis
    Cal. Bar No. 104800
    Wis. Bar No. 1020123
    Member: U.S. Supreme Court Bar

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