How can an attorney help with my disability claim?
Your attorney can help you in many ways. They can help you prepare your application, review your file for completeness and help you track down missing records, request hearings, and represent you at hearings. To learn more, see How a lawyer can help your Social Security disability claim.
Can Social Security disability benefits be paid retroactively?
Yes. Social Security disability benefits can be paid for up to 12 months before you filed the application, and for all the time between when you applied and when you were found to qualify.
Will you charge me a fee if I do not get benefits?
No. We charge on a contingency basis, so if we don’t get you benefits, you don’t pay us any fees. It’ll be in the contract.
Can I work and receive disability benefits?
Yes. In fact, you are encouraged to try to work. However, the amount of work you can do is limited because if you can earn a certain amount of money, over about $1000 a month, you may no longer be considered disabled.
How do I apply for benefits?
There are three ways you can apply for SSDI benefits. You can apply by phone, apply online, or visit your local Social Security office. In all cases, you basically have to fill out forms and turn them in.
How does social security decide if I am disabled?
After the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews your application, they will decide whether you might qualify for benefits and ask you to undergo a disability evaluation, which is composed of five questions:
- Are you working?
- Is your medical condition “severe”?
- Is your medical condition on the Listing of Impairments?
- Can you do the work you did before?
- Can you do any other type of work?
Based on the answers to these questions, the SSA will make a decision about your disability status. For more information, see disabling conditions.
How long does the application process take for disability benefits?
According to the SSA, the process takes about 3-5 months. For more information see the Social Security Disability timetable.
What is a reconsideration appeal?
A reconsideration appeal is the first stage in the appeals process for a denied disability benefits claim. Your file, including any supplemental or completing information added since the initial application, will be considered by someone not involved in the initial denial.
When should I contact a lawyer about disability?
It’s not a bad idea to contact a lawyer as soon as you know you are likely to be disabled for an extended period of time. There is a five month waiting period for getting disability benefits, but it can take that long to get a decision, so it’s best to talk to a lawyer soon to get your application in process.
Can noncitizens get disability benefits?
Yes, in some cases. You have to first meet the same disability requirements. Then you have to either have an SSN assigned as part of an authorization to work or you have to have been admitted as a nonimmigrant business visitor or an alien crewman. To receive benefits you have to prove that you are in the US lawfully.
What do I have to do to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
There is no online application for SSI benefits, although if you are applying for SSI because you are disabled, you can file the disability form online. Otherwise, you must call the SSA and set up an appointment at your local office.
What is required to get SSDI Social Security disability benefits?
In order to get SSDI, you must show that you have earned the 40 credits necessary to qualify, and you must demonstrate disability.
Can I get workers compensation and Social Security at the same time?
Yes, although the combined compensation from both benefits cannot exceed 80% of your average earnings before you became disabled.
Can I get veterans’ benefits and Social Security disability?
Yes, and veterans’ benefits will not affect your Social Security payments.
If I get awarded SSI or SSDI will I get medical insurance?
If you are considered disabled, you will qualify for Medicaid.
What is the difference between SSI, Supplemental Security Income, benefits and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits?
SSI is primarily based on your need. People who are disabled and cannot secure gainful employment can get benefits to help pay for the necessities of life. SSI is also used for children, the blind, and the elderly who lack adequate resources and income. SSDI is a program for workers who became disabled. You have to work to earn SSDI eligibility. The amount of compensation will depend on your average lifetime earnings.
Have more questions about disability benefits? Please contact a disability benefits lawyer today for more information.