Social Security disability lawyers get paid only if you win, and their pay, which comes out of your backpay award from Social Security, is limited to 25% of your backpay or $6,000, whichever is less. Statisically, having a lawyer significantly increases your chances of winning benefits. You're actually at an unfair disadvantage if you apply for benefits or appeal without a lawyer's help, because you probably won't know all of the intricate rules Social Security applies and the complex strategies disability lawyers use to show their clients can't work. What about nonlawyer disability advocates? They receive the same fee from Social Security for representing you (25% of your backpay) but have much less training and regulations, so it doesn't usually make sense to hire a nonlawyer.