One of our expert Social Security disability attorneys, Kristin Mancuso, answered some of the most common questions people have when they cannot work any longer due to a disability.
Q: I don’t know what to do anymore. My medical condition is making it so difficult for me to do my job. I don’t think I can continue working.
A: No one wants to be out of work because of a medical condition, but there is a disability insurance policy you’ve already purchased through your years of working and paying taxes – Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). A percentage of every paycheck goes to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Disability Trust Fund in case you need to use that money in the future. It is NOT a handout or welfare program.
Q: If I’ve already paid into Social Security disability, when can I start collecting it?
A: You still have to apply and be deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to receive disability benefits. The SSA’s standards for determining disability are very strict. Most people are denied when they first apply – 70 percent – but don’t give up! You can appeal your decision and potentially be approved for benefits.
Q: Why do I need an attorney to apply or appeal for SSDI?
A: We specialize in disability claims. Our attorneys have the knowledge and expertise required to prove your disability before the SSA. The application and appeals process can be a long and confusing one – with a lot of unfamiliar paperwork involved. Any missteps in the process can cause your application to be denied and force you to live without benefits longer. We can guide you throughout the whole process and take some stress off your shoulders.
Q: How can I afford to pay for an attorney?
A: There is no fee unless we win your case. If we do win, we collect a one-time fee from the SSA that does not exceed 25 percent or $6000 of your retroactive benefits – whichever is less.
Q: How does the SSA determine if I am disabled?
A: They use a five-step process:
- You are out of work or earning less than $1090 per month.
- Your medical condition(s) prevents you from working and are expected to last 12 months or result in death.
- Your medical condition(s) meets the SSA’s requirements for that specific condition. Click here to see the requirements.
- You cannot perform the work you’ve done in the past.
- You cannot perform other types of work.
If you or a loved one is unable to work because of a medical condition, call our Social Security disability specialists today at 800-773-1300 or chat with us live online.