Social Security Disability And SSI FAQs
The process of receiving Social Security payments and complicated and difficult to navigate for those that need the benefits. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help simplify the process and increase your chances of getting approved, but you may have additional questions before you get started.
At Slater & Slater, P.C., we strive to answer all of your questions and walk you through the Social Security process. These are the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive, as well as some guidance on getting started.
When Should I Apply For Benefits?
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. It can take a long time to process an application for disability benefits.
How Does Social Security Determine Disability?
There is a 5-step process to determine if you are disabled:
- Are you working? If you are able to work and your earnings average more than a certain threshold each month, you generally will not be considered disabled.
- Is your medical condition “severe?” Your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities — such as walking, sitting and remembering — for at least one year.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The Social Security Administration has a List of Impairments that describes medical conditions that are considered so severe that you are disabled as defined by law. If your condition (or combination of conditions) is not on the list, you may still qualify for disability if your condition is as severe as the ones on the list.
- Can you do the work you did before? If your condition does not prevent you from doing the work you did before, you will generally not be considered disabled.
- Can you do any other type of work? The agency will evaluate your medical condition, age, education, past work experience and functional limitations to determine if you can do other work. If you are unable to do other forms of work, you generally will be considered disabled.
How Long Does The Process Take?
The length of the process depends on a number of factors. Our attorneys help you gather the information and assemble a complete application, and help you file an appeal should you be denied. Should you have a hearing, we advocate for your interests and fight to secure your benefits. Some cases can take as long as 2-3 years from initial application to hearing.
How Does Evidence Get Submitted To Social Security?
We help evaluate your current situation and gather the information to build the strongest case. Evidence includes your medical records, work history and educational records.
How Much Money Will I Get?
For disability insurance benefits, the amount you receive is also dependent on how much you’ve worked and what you earned in the past. For SSI benefits, there is a base amount from which other income is deducted, which determines your payments.
How Can An Attorney Help Me?
Attorneys make the process simpler, and work on a contingency basis. This means the representative only gets paid if you win, then they receive a percentage of your back benefits. If you do not win your case, there are no fees involved. You are responsible, however, for expenses such as the fees doctors charge for copies of your medical records.
What Is The Difference Between SSDI And SSI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a workplace program that pays benefits to those who worked five out of the last 10 years. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is means-tested, and is only available to those who fall below a certain asset threshold. We can help you determine which you are eligible for, and walk you through the application process for each.
Have More Questions? Reach Out To Us!
Located conveniently in Frederick, we provide valuable counsel to those in Maryland and the surrounding Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania communities. With a free initial consultation, we can answer any initial questions you may have and walk you through your legal options before applying. Our lawyers have decades of experience, and can be invaluable in your effort to secure Social Security benefits.