Frequently Asked Questions
There are several methods available to potential claimants. First, one may file for disability online. Second, one may call the Social Security office to set up an appointment to apply. Another option is to have your representative (normally an experienced Social Security disability attorney) assist you in the online application process.
To be considered disabled, a person must have an impairment, either medical, psychological or both. The person’s impairment must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. This definition essentially states that the impairment must be severe enough to keep that person from working and earning above a certain amount for at least 12 months or more. Remember, however, the impairment must have either lasted for at least 12 calendar months or be expected to last that long.
For both Social Security disability (SSD) and supplemental security income (SSI) matters, medical evidence is immensely important. This evidence may take many forms, including doctor’s notes, mental health records, hospital records, blood work and other types of testing, including MRI, CAT scans or x-rays. Often the records that carry the most weight are those from the claimant’s personal doctor or treating physician. This is because that physician generally knows the medical condition better than any other source. Consequently, statements from the treating physician can be very helpful to the claim.
Your attorney fee is paid by the Social Security Administration out of any back or accrued pay you have coming to you if you win your claim. The federal regulations provide that the attorney fee is 25% of those accrued or past due monies with a specific cap or maximum in most situations. If there are no past due benefits owing when you win your case or if you should not win your case then no attorney fee is owing. Essentially, there is no fee unless you win and recover past due monies.
An attorney who is experienced in these types of matters can often greatly improve your chances of success. Our experienced attorneys do the “extra” work that often makes the difference between a successful claim and one that is denied. We thoroughly review your medical and obtain all additional medical information the Social Security Administration did not have. We brief your claim to the judges who will decide your case and when possible, get additional information or opinions from your treating doctor. We meet with you every step of the way and prepare you, in advance of your hearing, for what to expect and how the hearing is conducted so you are as informed and comfortable with the hearing as possible. We have found that it is these extra measures that often make the difference between success and failure.