Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that navigating Social Security and Disability claims can be overwhelming. We’re here to help you get the best outcome for your case while helping you understand the process as it takes place.
We’re always happy to answer any questions you have, but we’ve included some of the most common questions that we get from new clients. Please take a look and reach out to us with any other questions you might have!
Before we even consider whether Social Security or a Disability Judge determines if you are disabled, we must make sure that you are eligible for benefits. To be eligible for disability benefits (monthly check) you must qualify under one of the following:
Social Security Disability (SSDI): You must have paid Social Security taxes to the government. Your employer withholds taxes from your check and pays them to the Social Security Administration. Generally, you must have worked at least 5 of the last 10 years and paid Social Security taxes.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is based on household income and the property you own. If your household has too much income or you have too much property, you will NOT qualify. In general, you will NOT qualify for SSI if:
- If you have property valued more than $2,000.00, NOT including your home, OR
- Your total household monthly income is greater than about $1,200.00 (depending on the number of people in your household and other factors.)
Spouse’s Survivors benefits:
- If a spouse was married for at least ten years to a disabled worker who died while receiving Social Security disability benefits, the surviving spouse can get benefits in either of these circumstances:
- The surviving spouse is 60 years old or older
- The surviving spouse is disabled and between 50 and 60.
- If the surviving spouse is determined disabled within 7 years of your spouses death, you may apply for disability on their earnings record instead of your own.
Adult child: If a child between the ages of 18 and 22 is found disabled, they may be entitled to receive benefits from a parent’s Social Security earnings record. However, if the child marries the benefits will stop.
Minor children: If you are approved and have any minor children, they may also qualify for disability benefits.
If you meet ANY of the above requirements, only then can we consider filing a claim for a judge to determine if you are medically disabled.
From the time you apply, the entire process which includes two appeals, is currently taking 1-2 years. It is possible, but not likely, Social Security will review your case and approve it before your hearing in front of a Judge.
If you are eligible for disability benefits based on any of the answers provided in question one, the disability Judge or Social Security Administration may determine you are physically or mentally disabled.
The main factors the Judge will consider are:
- Current Work Status – You must not be working full time.
- Inability to Work – You must have been or will be unable to work for a period of 12 months or more.
- Work History – The more you have worked in your past the greater the chance the Judge will approve your claim.
- Medical Treatment – The more medical treatment you have had, in particular during the last 2 years with a definite diagnosis, the more likely the Judge will consider you for approval.
- Age – The older you are the easier it is to fit you in the guidelines. If you are over 50 years old and especially over 55 it is easier to qualify.
In general, NO.
- You cannot apply if you are working full-time, which is considered 40 hours per week.
- If you are working part-time which is less than 20 hours per week and making less than $1,200 per month, you may apply.
- You will NOT owe anything at the time I accept your case.
- If we win your case, the fee is 25% of the back-pay with a minimum of $1,500.
- Regardless of the outcome of the case, if my office has to pay any money to obtain your medical records, which is usually not over $100; you will be required to pay that amount back to me.
- If you have a child that qualifies for benefits, the fee will also include 25% of their back-pay.
Only if you have been approved by the Social Security Administration or the Judge, in which case you will be eligible for medicaid or medicare insurance.