Attorney fees are charged in Social Security Disability and SSI cases only if the claim is successful. The fee is 25% of the back pay, with a maximum fee of $6,000.00 at the present time.
You can apply by calling your local Social Security Office, or by calling the 800 number. A representative will schedule an appointment for you. You can apply in person or over the phone. You should apply as soon as you become disabled. However, Social Security disability benefits will not begin until the sixth full month of disability. This waiting period begins with the first full month after the date SSA decides your disability began. Although you do not need an attorney to complete the application , it is recommended that you contact an attorney familiar with Social Security shortly after the application is completed to assist you with the process. Many claims are denied at the Initial Determination stage, however an attorney may be able to assist you with the process to increase your chance of a favorable initial determination, even before you need to go before an Administrative Law Judge.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits before your retirement age, nothing will change when you reach your retirement age. Your benefits will be called retirement benefits instead of disability benefits.
The definition of disability in the Social Security law is a strict one. To be eligible for benefits, a person must be unable to do any kind of substantial gainful work because of a physical or mental impairment (or a combination of impairments), which is expected either to last at least 12 months or to end in death.
If, because of a medical condition, a person cannot do the work that he or she performed in the past, then age, education, and past work experience must be considered in determining whether the person can do other work. If the evidence shows that the person can do other work, even if it involves different skills or pays less than his or her previous work, he or she cannot be considered disabled for Social Security purposes.
The SSA uses a five (5) step analysis to determine whether you qualify as being disabled. The process includes the following five (5) questions:
1.Are you working?
2.Is your condition severe?
3.Is your condition found in the list of disabling impairments?
4.Can you do the work you did previously?
5.Can you do any other type of work? (Substantial Gainful Activity)
Social Security disability insurance is a program that workers, employers and the self-employed pay for with their Social Security taxes. You qualify for these benefits based on your work history, and the amount of your benefit is based on your earnings. SSI is a program financed through general tax revenues-not through Social Security trust funds. SSI disability benefits are paid to people who have a disability and who don't own much or don't have a lot of income. If you qualify for SS Disability, you can be entitled to one year of retroactive benefits calculated from the date you apply. SSI will only back pay benefits from the date you apply.
People who are severely disabled may be eligible for monthly benefits under one or more programs. Both the Social Security Disability program and the SSI program provide a monthly income for people with severe disabilities. However, the eligibility requirements for the two programs are different. The Social Security program pays benefits to disabled or retired workers and their families and to the families of deceased workers. To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must be found disabled by the SSA and must have "insured status." Generally, you will qualify if you have worked at least five (5) out of the last ten (10) years to be considered "insured." The SSI program provides monthly income to people who are age 65 or older, or are blind or disabled, and have limited income and financial resources. You can be eligible for SSI even if you have never worked in employment covered under Social Security. Generally, to be eligible for SSI, and individual must be a resident of the United States and must be a citizen or non-citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Also, some non-citizens granted a special status by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) may be eligible.
To be eligible for benefits, a person must be unable to do any kind of substantial gainful work because of a physical or mental impairment (or a combination of impairments), which is expected either to last at least 12 months, has lasted at least 12 months, or to end in death.