How to Apply for Benefits
If You’re Considering Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits:
Do You Qualify?
See if you qualify for Social Security benefits with our quick 4 step evaluation.Check
Our attorneys are intimately aware of the intricate requirements the Social Security Administration has put in place for those who are seeking Disability benefits, and they are experts at compiling the evidence necessary to see to it that your benefits are granted. For a free consultation to determine whether you qualify for benefits, click the button below. Click Here for a Free Consultation
If You’ve Already Applied for Social Security Disability Benefits:
If you have already filed for Social Security Disability Benefits, you may be wondering,
“What now? How long do I have to wait before I hear from someone?”
“Is there something else I need to do to get my disability benefits?”
Our team can help guide you through the next steps.
The Social Security Disability Claims process can be very confusing.
Due to our current economic state, the Social Security Administration is overwhelmed with the number of claims pending a decision.
Because of this, it is often a great challenge to find out the status of your claim after it has been submitted, and it can be a very long time before your claim is considered.
We are aggressive in our strategic approach to finding out the status of your claim in order to provide you with regular updates. We know how to gather the evidence that is needed to support a favorable decision on your claim, and we help you win your benefits at the earliest possible stage.
To get help with your current Social Security Disability Claim, call us today (800) 248-1100.
If You’ve Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits:
Did you know that over 70% of Social Security Disability benefits are denied after filing an initial application?
It is important not to be discouraged if your claim is not awarded right away. We will help you file your appeal paperwork to avoid mistakes that can delay the process and prevent you from receiving benefits.
Our disability advocates are experts in the reconsideration phase of the Social Security Disability process, and we will petition on your behalf for early rewards.
With our representation, the odds of winning your case will greatly improve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of disability benefits I can apply for?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two types of benefit programs for disabled Americans. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is based on a claimant’s past work history; to be eligible, you must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is welfare based, and a claimant must have a limited income and limited resources in order to quality.
How long does it usually take for a decision to be made on my case?
At the initial application level, it generally takes 4-6 months for a decision to be made. This is because Social Security must receive copies of all your medical records and analyze them to determine if you can go back to any type of work. At the reconsideration appeal level, it takes anywhere from 3-5 months to receive a decision notice. If your case moves on to the hearing level, the general wait time is anywhere from 12-18 months due to the immense backlog in having hearing dates set.
What happens if I am denied?
It is normal to be denied your first and even second time applying for disability benefits. If you do receive a denial letter, you have 60 days to file an appeal either online or at your local SSA office. The appeal will ask you detailed questions regarding any changes to your conditions in the past few months. Your case manager will contact you as soon as a denial letter has been received and file the appeal with you in a timely manner.
What will a lawyer do to help my case?
Hiring a disability attorney will greatly assist with the time put into your case and the quality of your case. It has been proven that hiring a lawyer increases your chances of being awarded benefits in a timelier manner. Your lawyer when required will speak to Social Security for you, help you to thoroughly understand the disability process, ensure that no delays are placed on your case, help you with the required paperwork, assist you with obtaining outstanding medical records for you, keep you updated with how your case is proceeding and contact you if anything is missing, and be there to answer any questions you may have.
How much will I have to pay my Social Security attorney?
Most disability attorneys only charge if they win your case. If you don’t win, you don’t owe your lawyer anything. If your case is won, your lawyer will receive 25% of any back-pay you are eligible for, up to a maximum of $6,000.
Can I work while applying for benefits?
Social Security does not discourage you from going back to work during the application process. However, there are red flags that they will look out for that may disqualify you for benefits. If you earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit, you will automatically be ineligible for benefits. If you are able to work for more than three months continuously, Social Security will also deem you ineligible for benefits. However, if you attempt to work but find that after a few weeks your conditions are too debilitating to allow you to continue, this will not hurt your claim.
Is there any way to speed up my disability claim?
It is very difficult to have a disability claim expedited. If you have a condition (usually terminal) that meets one of Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances, a decision will be made on your claim in under a month. However, the majority of applications must wait many months to have a decision made. Helpful tips to attempt to speed up your claim are to constantly check with SSA or your attorney to ensure that nothing is outstanding or missing, submit any medical records you may have to SSA as soon as possible, contact your local Congressman to request that he or she contact SSA to help your claim, and if you are in a very dire financial situation, send proof of this in to SSA (such as bank statements, foreclosure notices, etc.) and sometimes this will help to have your claim processed slightly faster.
What is a Consultative Exam? Is it normal to have one scheduled?
A Consultative Exam is an exam that Social Security schedules with one of their doctors for the claimant when they find that they need more information on a claimant’s case. Social Security will collect as many medical records as possible for the claimant’s case, but often upon reviewing them they find that they do not have enough information to make a determination (Consultative Exams are also often scheduled if SSA did not receive all the records they requested) and will therefore schedule the exam to obtain the missing medical information. Consultative Exams can be physical or mental exams and are often quite short, usually lasting only 15-20 minutes. They are generally scheduled in the second half of the claim.
What will my case manager do to help my case?
Your case manager will be taking care of your entire Social Security claim, beginning with the initial application and if need be continuing on to the hearing level. They will file your initial application over the phone with you and fill out each required form for you. Your case manager will contact Social Security regularly to ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been received and has been processed in a timely manner. Your case manager will provide an update at least every 30 days for you on how your case is proceeding. If you receive any paperwork or forms you are unsure about, your case manager will be available to answer any questions you may have or will fill them out with you. If you receive a denial, your case manager will file the appeal over the phone with you in a timely manner and get all the necessary paperwork sent in to Social Security. They will ensure that no delays are placed on your case and that Social Security receives everything they require. Your case manager will help obtain medical records for you and submit them in to Social Security. They will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding your case at any point during the process.
If I am awarded benefits, what are the average award amounts?
Exact award amounts vary greatly on a case-by-case basis. However, if you are awarded SSDI benefits, monthly payments range anywhere between $500-$2,000 per month, which is determined by how much you have previously paid into the system. Back-pay eligibility goes back a year from when your initial application was filed. For SSI benefits, monthly payments are usually much less- between $600-$900 per month, depending on what state you live in and the amount of income and resources you currently have. Back-pay eligibility for SSI begins one month after your initial application was filed.
Social Security Disability Information and Resources:
- Common SSA Disability Application Forms – Help with initial application forms for social security disability benefits.
- What is the difference between SSDI and SSI – which one do you qualify for?
- Top Social Security Evidence Sources to help you win your social security disability claim
- How Much Do I Have to Pay a Social Security Attorney? What does it cost to hire a lawyer for a disability claim?
- Working After the Disability Claim – What happens if I work after I receive social security disability benefits?
- How to Prove Pain in a Disability Case – You’re in pain and you can’t work, but how do you show you are disabled?