Who decides if I am disabled and eligible for benefits?
After a Social Security Disability claim is filed, the case is sent to a disability examiner at the Disability Determination Branch. The case is reviewed by the examiner and doctors and an initial decision is made on the claim. If you disagree with the decision you can appeal the ruling.
Are mental illnesses eligible for disability benefits?
Yes. Mental illness is a frequently used basis for getting Social Security Disability benefits.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
This is for people with little or no income and resources. Your SSI monthly amount is based on financial need. It is also determined by different formulas that use such factors as total household income and your entitlement to a DIB benefit, Long-Term Disability benefit or Workers’ Compensation benefit.
How long does it take to obtain my disability benefits once Social Security determines that I am disabled?
The delay receiving benefits is usually caused by Social Security denying the claim. Once you get a decision in your favor, monthly payments usually start in about 60-90 days. If you are due back payments that can take a while longer depending on whether you were receiving TDI or Workers’ Compensation payments. One of the things Danielle Beaver and Frank Ury do is follow up on back pay awards to make sure they are paid as quickly as possible. Read More
If I win my case, will I receive medical help in addition to cash benefits?
That depends. If you’ve been eligible for Social Security Disability for two years – whether you’ve actually received the benefits or not – you qualify for Medicare. If you’re awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you won’t receive Medicare, but rather Medicaid, a needs-based program that provides for a number of prescriptions and doctor visits each month.
What are the important deadlines I need to watch?
- INITIAL FILING —You should apply for Social Security Disability benefits within a certain timeframe (usually five years) after you’re unable to work. However, every month you wait will reduce the total amount of benefits. If you wait longer than five years to apply, you may not qualify for any benefits. We strongly recommend that you apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as you are unable to work.
- APPEAL – The next important deadline is the appeal. If your initial claim is denied (and most are), you’ll only have 60 days from the date of your decision letter to file an appeal with Social Security. If you don’t file an appeal within 60 days, you give up your rights to the appeal process. Even worse, you’ll have to start the application process all over again. We strongly recommend you engage an attorney to help you file your appeal.
- FEDERAL APPEAL – If your claim qualifies for benefits, but has been denied on appeal, it can still be appealed outside the Social Security system by appealing in Federal Court.
What is the difference between a lawyer and a non-attorney advocate?
Non-attorney disability advocates are trained in the Social Security process, but have not received a law degree. They can help you file your initial claim, but if your claim is denied (and most are) you will want legal counsel to proceed to the next step. If your appeal goes all the way to Federal Court, you will definitely need an attorney.
If you have questions about your eligibility, you should probably be working with an attorney.
I was denied. Should I appeal?
You should definitely appeal. We can help you get started with your appeal by filing a written request for reconsideration within 60 days of your denial notice. After that, there are four levels of review: Reconsideration, Hearing, Appeals Council, and Federal Court.
How long do I have to wait after becoming disabled before I can file for Social Security Disability benefits?
You can file for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. Anyone who suffers a serious illness or injury and is expected to be out of work for a year or more should file a claim. In some cases the claim should be filed right away, but in some cases it is better to wait until you have been disabled for 6 months or more. Danielle Beaver and Frank Ury will review your situation and give you advice as to when is the best time for you to file your claim. Read More
Is there a way to get my Social Security Disability benefits faster?
In December 2012, the Social Security Administration released a list of 35 conditions named as part of the “Compassionate Allowances” initiative. This initiative provides a fast track to receiving disability benefits. Many people with the conditions on this list may receive an expedited decision.
However, having one of these conditions won’t guarantee you qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program. Please contact attorneys Danielle Beaver or Frank Ury to find out if you qualify. You can also find the entire list of Compassionate Allowances at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm
Can I get Social Security Disability benefits and Workers’ Compensation?
Yes, you can file a claim for Workers’ Comp and Social Security Disability benefits..
While the two benefit systems are completely separate, the Social Security Administration may lower your disability payments by the amount of your Workers’ Compensation benefits, by taking what’s called an “offset.”