Questions & Answers
About Social Security Disability
As you begin to explore the possibility of receiving Social Security Disability benefits, it’s important to remember two points:
- Don’t get discouraged. The system is set up to apply black-and-white rules to a grey world, which makes for a complex process that is seemingly indifferent to your stressful situation. But that doesn’t mean you cannot succeed.
- Your support system is always right here. Throughout the process of trying to get disability benefits, Seeger & Forbes is always available to address your needs and concerns. Online or in person.
Contact Seeger & Forbes for more in-depth information, or you can navigate among the links to the right.
Listed below are the most common questions and answers for people seeking Social Secuity Disability:
What makes me eligible for Social Security Disability benefits?
Generally speaking, to receive benefits under the Social Security Disability insurance benefit and SSI programs, you must have physical and/or mental health problems severe enough to keep you from working in any regular-paying job for at least 12 months.
But, keep in mind, the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t want to know whether you have been unable to get a job lately or that you are simply unable to go back to your old job. Rather, the SSA wants to know whether you are capable of doing any job that exists in the economy in significant numbers.
The SSA will also look at your medical condition, your remaining ability to work, your age, education, training and work experience in deciding your case. The SSA will not consider your assets and resources to determine eligibility for benefits under the disability insurance program, but it will if you are applying for SSI.
For most people, at age 50 and, again, at ages 55 and 60, the SSA’s regulations make it easier to be found disabled. However, Seeger & Forbes has also been successful in obtaining disability awards for persons younger than 50 in the appropriate cases.
What if the Administration had denied my claim?
DO NOT GIVE UP! Being denied as a first-time applicant is common and, arguably, one could say it’s expected. Be prepared to file a Request for Reconsideration.
But also, Contact Seeger & Forbes right away—because your Request for Reconsideration is likely to be denied too, at which time you will need an attorney to take the next step. Contacting Seeger & Forbes early in the process is important to allow enough time to build your best case.
Will my Request for Reconsideration be approved?
Probably not. But, again, DON’T GIVE UP! If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, talk to Seeger & Forbes about taking the next step to request a hearing. Your chances of being successful are best at the hearing level.
What is a Hearing?
At the hearing, you and your attorney will be able to present evidence in the form of medical records, reports and testimony. An administrative law judge will ask about your medical condition, medical history, abilities, education, training, work experience and the limitations caused by your disability. Once evidence and testimony is presented, your attorney will likely make a closing argument summarizing why you should be awarded benefits.
When should I contact a disability lawyer?
Contact Seeger & Forbes as soon as your initial application for benefits is denied. The more time a lawyer has to prepare your claim, the stronger your case.
What information will my attorney need?
When you first contact Rod Forbes—Seeger & Forbes’ attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability—he will send you a questionnaire and let you know what else you will need to bring to your appointment.
How do I pay my attorney?
It’s all taken care of, with no surprises. You will not pay a fee unless you are awarded benefits. The fee is limited to a percentage of your back benefits. To pay attorney fees in Social Security Disability cases, the Social Security Administration will automatically withhold the amount from any back benefit award. Nothing will be withheld from your regular monthly checks.
If I win, when do I start receiving benefits?
If you are approved for disability insurance benefits, you will be paid for the 6th full month after the date the Social Security Administration determines your disability began. The amount of your benefit will depend on your average lifetime earnings. If you are approved for SSI, then there is no waiting period.
What about Medicare coverage?
If you are approved for disability insurance benefits, you will also become eligible for Medicare. While Medicare benefits may not kick in at the same time as the disability award, due to a waiting period that is involved, most claimants will be eligible for Medicare benefits by the time they receive their first disability check.
If you haven’t yet applied for disability . . .
Seeger & Forbes can help. Call us to help you apply for disability benefits.
For more answers
Contact Seeger & Forbes, or feel free to dig deeper on your own.
Read Rod Forbes Blog for more.