Social Security Disability FAQs
Do I qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
You may very well qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if you are enduring a qualified disability which prevents you from working for at least 12 months, or if you are suffering from a terminal illness, and your work history shows that you have worked enough, contributing to Social Security through income tax deductions. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you be completely, although not permanently disabled. The disability can be physical or mental.
I would like to apply for Social Security Disability, but can’t work, and have no money to pay a lawyer, now what?
In Social Security Disability cases, your lawyer only gets paid if you are awarded benefits.
What do I do if my initial claim was denied?
You should immediately seek a lawyer’s advise, as you only have 60 days to file an appeal to your denial. Just because your claim was denied does not mean that you are not disabled, it may simply mean that not enough proof of your disability was presented, or that the proof supplied was not within Social Security’s disability definition or medical reason requirement.
What if I want to try to work part-time?
If able, you can. Social Security Disability judges look favorably on folks who try to work at all. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains that you must not be able to do “substantial gainful activity” which is the type of activity you normally do for pay or profit. If your monthly pay or profits are below an amount set forth by the SSA, then you will not be viewed as performing substantial gainful activity. You should consult with an experienced lawyer to weigh your options.
How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) determine what my social security disability benefits will be, if I qualify?
The amount of benefits will be determined by your earnings history, and has nothing to do with your particular disability.
How long can it take to get a hearing date if I appeal my initial denial?
It can take more than 1 year to get a hearing date, although there may be exceptions to expedite your hearing, if you can provide proof of your immediate need. Robinson Law can guide through the process, preparing you every step of the way, and be your aggressive, yet compassionate representation at the critical hearing stage.
How can I help my case?
To get Social Security Disability benefits, you need medical treatment. While waiting for your hearing, Robinson Law will ensure cooperation with all of your treating doctor(s) and providers, such as physical therapy and work hardening, to name a few, so that all of the medical records will be obtained and forwarded on to the Social Security Disability Judge who will ultimately decide your case. You can help by keeping complete records of all of the treatment providers you have seen and assisting in obtaining those records. Medical treatment is key to your having a chance of qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits. Robinson Law understands that sometimes people do not have health coverage, and if that is the case, will guide you to your local welfare office to seek medical assistance.
I have proudly served in the military before entering the civilian workforce. I am disabled and collect veterans disability benefits. Is it possible to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?
First of all, thank you very much for serving our country! Absolutely, these are 2 separate programs and usually there is no offset for collecting under both.
I believe that I am disabled, but am almost to Social Security Retirement age. Can I still apply for Social Security Disability benefits?
Yes. If you start collecting Social Security Retirement benefits as soon as eligible, you will collect those benefits at a reduced rate. If you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits before retirement age, you can delay receiving your retirement benefits until you reach full retirement age. By delaying receipt of the retirement benefits, you will be able to collect Social Security Retirement benefits at the full rate for the rest of your life.
Is Social Security Disability Insurance the same as Supplemental Security Income?
No, they are 2 different federal programs. According to Wikipedia, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program of the United States government. It is managed by the Social Security Administration and is designed to provide income supplements to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability, usually a physical disability. SSD can be supplied on either a temporary or permanent basis, usually directly correlated to whether the person’s disability is temporary or permanent.
According to Wikipedia, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a United States government program that provides stipends to low-income people who are either aged (65 or older), blind, or disabled. Although administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is funded from the U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust fund. SSI was created in 1974 to replace federal-state adult assistance programs that served the same purpose.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for those who cannot qualify for Social Security Disability as they never had a job or worked off and on over time. The benefits are a fixed monthly amount, with the Federal Benefits Rate (FBR) for 2011 being $674.00 for an individual and $1,011.00 for a couple.
According to Wikipedia, being deemed disabled consists of meeting the general disability definition used by the Social Security Administration:
“Disability means inability to engage in any SGA [substantial gainful activity] by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
Putting it all together – Social Security and Workers’ Compensation Benefits
As Paula at Robinson Law handles voluminous workers’ compensation claims, she is capable of coordinating the claims processes and get the most compensation for injured workers who can ‘t work or who are pressured into work, being paid less or given fewer hours.
Contact Robinson Law for a free initial consultation.