Please review our list of frequently asked questions & answers, or submit yours below.
Q: Can I draw my SSI until I get my Social Security disability?
A. No. Many claimants ask me whether they can receive your SSI while they wail on their Social Security disability. The answer is you have to be found disabled first before you receive any SSI or Social Security Disability. The only exception to this is in some cases when you apply, if Social Security feels you have an exceptionally strong case, they will pay you SSI benefits for up to six months while your Social Security and SSI claims are being reviewed at the initial level.
Q: Can I draw other benefits such as VA benefits or worker compensation while I apply for my Social Security Disability?
A: Yes. Social Security has a separate determination they will make for your SSI or Social Security Disability regardless of whether you receive other benefits. You can also receive unemployment benefits and apply for Social Security Disability.
Q: Can I work and apply for Social Security disability?
A: I have many claimants ask me this question and the answer is yes. However, it makes it more difficult to win your Social Security case. You have to be able to explain how you are able to work but are disabled at the same time. I am aware that you know people who are working and getting their Social Security Disability. However, in most of these cases they already have their Social Security and may be working. There are certain rules and regulations which allow this. They are not trying to get it for the first time. It is much more difficult to go in front of a judge or the Social Security Administration while you are working and try to be found disabled.
Q: I am a widow and want to know if I can get Social Security disability?
A: If you are a widow and you become disabled from age 50 to 60 you can apply for disability or Widow's Benefits. However, your disability must have started within seven. years of your spouse's death. Also, once you turn 60 you can obtain Widow's Benefits simply based on your age.
Q: How do I apply?
A: Click here or go to page 6 and fill out the form.
Q: When should I contact an attorney?
A: I represent claimants when they start their application and at all levels of the appeals to include claimant's contacting me within a few days of their hearing. I recommend you contact an attorney on the sooner side. Many things can go wrong with a Social Security case such as the Social Security Administration losing your case or not processing your appeals. If something like this occurs, you will be glad you have an attorney to correct the problem with the Social Security Administration rather than trying to do it yourself.
Q: Why does it take so long?
A: It take so long because there is a large volume of cases which results in a backlog and the Social Security Administration does not have the funding to hire the proper staff to process the claims as quickly as the claimants and their attorneys would prefer. Some of this delay is built into the system so that if you do not feel you have a legitimate case, you may drop out of the process. However, it is simply the backlog. For example, if you request a hearing your case will be assigned to an Administrative Law Judge. The Administrative Law Judge may conduct 400 hearings in a year. Once your case is assigned to the judge and he begins holding hearings you will go from number 400 to 399 to 398. It takes about a year for judge to work down from 400 to 500 cases.
Q: What medical conditions qualify for Social Security disability?
A: All medical problems can qualify you for Social Security disability if they are expected to last for 12 months or have lasted for 12 months or could result in your death. I have represented almost every type of medical problem you can think of and the issue is not how rare your condition is or how well the Judge will understand your condition, but what are the limitations and restrictions you have as a result of your condition.
Q: Do I have to be totally disabled before I can get my Social Security disability benefits or SSI?
A: No. Many claimants tell me they had they have a few good hours in the day and could possibly work a simple part-time job. However, you do not have to be fully disabled but show that you cannot work an 8 to 5 job daily and consistently.
Q: Will my children get any benefits?
A: If you are found disabled and receive SSI benefits only, your children will not get any benefits. If you are found disabled for Social Security benefits, your children will probably receive a benefit if your monthly benefit is over approximately $750. If you are found disabled, your children's benefits are referred to as Dependents Benefits. If you die, your benefits for your children are referred to as Survivor Benefits. Please remember that the attorney's fee is 25% of you and your children's benefits,
Q: Can I draw unemployment benefits and also apply for my Social Security Disability benefits at the same time?
A: Yes. Many claimants have been awarded benefits while they were receiving unemployment benefits. However, there is one difficult question you will have to answer which is "When you apply for unemployment benefits, you tell the unemployment office you are ready, willing and able to work and will have to be looking for jobs." At your Social Security Disability hearing you will be alleging you are not able to work. Therefore, the natural question to ask is why are you telling the unemployment office you can work and are looking for work but are telling the Social Security judge you cannot work. However, there are ways to explain this to a judge. Also, if you could apply for unemployment benefits but tell the unemployment office you are not able to work, be sure to tell this to the Social Security Administration or your Administrative Law Judge.
Q: What is the most important thing I can do to assist my attorney?
A: First, write out a list of every doctor, hospital or surgery you have had or seen and give it to your attorney. Second, be sure your attorney has all your address changes and phone numbers. Third, show up for your hearing. Also, tell your attorney all of your medical problems, big ones and small ones.