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Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability

When can I file for Social Security Disability benefits?

If you cannot work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.  Social Security does not provide benefits for partial or short-term disability.

How do I apply?

You can apply by contacting your local Social Security Administration ( or by calling their
toll-free number (1-800-772-1213).  You can also make an appointment for your application to be taken over the telephone or in person at your local SSA office.

If I am denied benefits, how long will the appeal process take?

Pursuing Social Security Disability/SSI is a long process.  Once a Request for Hearing is filed, it can take helping with your Social Security Disability claimsapproximately 24 months to receive a hearing date from the Social Security Administration.  Unfortunately, hiring an attorney will not necessarily speed up this process.  However, we will monitor your claim and follow the progress of your case to make sure it is being processed properly.

How do lawyers who represent claimants with Social Security Disability get paid?

We handle Social Security Disability cases on a contingency basis.  This means that the lawyer receives a fee only if you win your case  If we are successful and you win your case, the attorney fee is 25% of your back award with a maximum fee cap of $6,000.00.  Attorney fees must also be approved by the Social Security Administration.  If we are not successful and you do not win your case, there is no attorney fee.  Keep in mind that there might be costs incurred if your doctors charge a fee for copies of your medical records.

Can I get Social Security Disability benefits if I expect to get better and return to work?

If you have been disabled for at least one year or expect to be disabled for at least one year, you may be entitled to benefits.

How much will I receive if I am approved for Social Security benefits?

For disability insurance benefits, it all depends upon how much you have worked and earned in the past.  For SSI benefits, there is a base amount that an individual with no other income receives.  Household income will reduce the amount of SSI which an individual can receive.

If I am found disabled how far back will Social Security pay benefits?

For disability benefits, the benefits begin five months after the person becomes disabled.  But, benefits cannot be paid more than one year prior to the date of the claim.  For a disabled adult/child benefits begin as of the onset date, but benefits cannot be paid more than six months prior to the date of the claim.  SSI benefits begin at the start of the month following the date of the claim.


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