Here in the US, it is the claimants decision on whether to hire an atty to represent you, it is not required by SS.
If an atty represents you, you have what is called a contingency fee contract which states he gets paid out of any award for his time. If you don't win, since its a contingency Contract you owe him nothing. DO NOT SIGN ANY KIND OF CONTRACT OTHER THAN THIS.
If you are awarded benefits by SS, they send your atty what is called a Fee Petition, but if he does alot of SS he can obtain these directly from a SS office to have on hand which is what we did. An atty cannot per SS collect 50% of your back due pay plus the cap if its $5,000 as atty fees. He cannot collect both.
A fee Petition must be filed by the atty and sent to SS. On this fee Petition his assistant must list every single thing that has been done on your claim. Things like initial interview, request medical records, review file and this sort of thing. They do not just send his a check. He has to show how he earned his fee and there is a cap. Someone said its $5,000. When I did SS claims the cap was $4,000 max. SS will hold out money for the atty out of any award. A copy of this letter is also sent to the claimant. Once the Fee Petition is submitted and Approved by SS then he gets paid. If SS held out too much money, they send the balance to the claimant. By the way folks, your atty is also suppose to send you a copy of the Fee Peition that he sens to SS......Susie