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Social Security Disability FAQs

Social Security

Can I apply for Social Security Disability Online?

Yes. Many of our clients start their claim process by filing online. If you have access to the internet, this is a convenient way to start the process. You should prepare just as you would if you were applying in person – have all of your medical and treating physician information in hand as you will be asked for this information in the reports.

What Information Do I need when I apply Online or In Person?

The Social Security Administration requires that you provide information regarding you personally, your spouse or children if they are eligible to receive benefits through your earning record, your medical treatment and banking information.  When gathering the medical information, you will need to have the names, addresses, telephone numbers of treating physicians, dates of services (to include future appointments) and current medications. There is a helpful checklist on the SSA Website:

Am I eligible to receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

To obtain your Social Security Disability Benefits, you must meet certain medical qualifications. You MUST have worked five out of the last ten years to accumulate enough earning to qualify. If you do not have enough work requirements, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Can I receive my Social Security Disability and Still Work?

There is a possibility that you can work and receive your Social Security Disability Benefits, but it is not likely. There is a threshold monthly income amount set annually by the Social Security Administration.

How much will my monthly benefits be if I am approved?

There is a difficult question to answer in general terms. Your benefits are based on your earnings. SSA stopped sending the annual statements several years ago which outlined your benefits. You can still access this information online and even use an online calculator to estimate how much your benefits would be if you are approved.

Do I have to have a representative?

It is not required that you have an attorney represent you in your claim. However, hiring a lawyer familiar with the process will increase your chances of having a favorable outcome. We are familiar with the process, the information needed, the deadlines and additional information that may be submitted in support of your claim.

Can you receive your disability benefits based on mental illness?

Yes. Do not ignore mental health – it is common for claimants to suffer from depression and anxiety due to pain and loss of financial stability. Communicate these feelings with your treating physician for treatment or if they are not in a position to treat mental illness, explore community mental health clinics. 

What I do not have the money to continue treating with my physician?

Your claim with Social Security is based on medical evidence. We encourage our clients to continue treating their illnesses with their treating physician if at all possible. If you are not able to continue medical services with your existing physician due to finances, explore treatment at medical clinics that have sliding fee scale (community clinics, community mental health clinics).

How much do you charge?

The usual fee is 25% (one-quarter) of back benefits up to a maximum amount set by SSA, currently is set at $6,000.00. That is, the fee is one-fourth of those benefits that build up by the time you are found disabled and benefits are paid. No fee comes out of current monthly benefits and we do not collect unless you receive a favorable decision.

Can I get unemployment benefits during the application process?

No. We are often asked about applying for or continuing receiving unemployment benefits. Applying for and accepting unemployment benefits, by its nature, requires that you are willing and physically able to work, this position is not consistent with a claim for social security disability.

If I was injured at work and am receiving workers compensation, should I wait until the workers’ compensation case has concluded?

No. You should go ahead and apply for your Social Security Disability Benefits. If you are represented by an attorney in your workers’ compensation case, make sure that he or she is aware that you are making an application for SSD. This will make it less likely that there will be a delay between receiving the two forms of benefit. Your benefit from Social Security may be reduced depending on your benefits from your workers’ compensation case and its structure.