Disability attorneys who represent claimants on ERISA disability policy claims may use a contingency fee basis, hourly fee basis, or a hybrid contingency-hourly agreement to collect a fee for their services.
A contingency fee agreement provides that your ERISA law firm will be paid a portion of the proceeds of your claim if they are able to obtain a favorable result for you, such as receiving a lump-sum buyout by the insurance company or plan administrator. Some disability attorneys will structure their contingency fees agreements so that they will receive different percentages of your past due and future benefits. Disability lawyers may also include a provision that provides payment of their fee will come out of each of your monthly benefit checks, should you be put back on claim. Contingency fee agreements are preferable for many claimants who may not have the financial resources to pay out-of-pocket for a disability attorney on an hourly basis.
Some ERISA attorneys represent claimants on an hourly basis, where the client simply pays for the lawyer's time on the cases at a set rate. An hourly basis may be preferable in some situations, such as if the disability lawyer is only being engaged for limited services (writing an appeal letter, for example).
Other ERISA disability lawyers will take cases on a hybrid agreement, where a portion of the claim is on an hourly basis and the other portion is on a contingency fee basis. Specifically, the agreement may provide that through the final decision by the insurance company or plan administrator the disability attorney will be paid on an hourly basis, and if litigation is required, then the fee basis switches to the contingency portion of the agreement.
The type of agreement that is right for your claim depends on what works for you, the particular circumstances of your claim, and the preferences of a given disability lawyer.