FAQs About Social Security Disability
We'll help you understand this complex process
Applying for Social Security Disability can be an overwhelming process. Even the initial application is complicated, and the appeals process is much more so. And you're expected to get through it while living with a disability and trying to make ends meet despite being unable to work.
That's why the experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at Chad Jones Law, P.C. have prepared this list of questions and answers. We're more than happy to help you through this complex process.
- How do I know whether I qualify for Social Security Disability?
- Why do I need an SSD attorney? Can I afford to hire one?
- How much am I eligible to receive?
- What information do I need to apply for benefits?
- My application was denied. Can an attorney help?
- Can I apply on behalf of my child?
Knowing what to do to get through a complicated application process is challenging, and every case is unique. That's why we encourage you to meet with us for a free consultation. We'll review your case with you and help determine a legal strategy to get the benefits you need. Call 1-800-64-JONES or contact us online.
To be eligible for SSD benefits, you need to have worked in jobs covered by Social Security for at least five of the last 10 years. You also need to demonstrate that you meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disabled, as laid out in the agency's "blue book." The government needs to know that you cannot do any substantial work because of your disability and that the impairment is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. Finally, with few exceptions, you need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
The Social Security Administration denies about two-thirds of initial applications. With an attorney on your side, you have a better chance of being approved for benefits in the first place - we'll help you fill out the paperwork and ensure there is no missing or unclear information. And if your application is denied, you'll definitely need us to help you appeal your denied claim.
We take SSD cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don't pay us anything out of pocket. If and when you are approved for benefits, our fee is a percentage of your past due benefits set by the SSA. That means that the sooner you hire us, the less you'll most likely end up paying, because your case will likely resolve that much sooner.
The amount of benefits you receive depends on a complex formula used by the Social Security Administration. It's based on your income prior to being disabled. On average, disabled workers nationwide received $1,165 monthly in 2015, but your benefit may be higher or lower depending on your circumstances.
You need to prove that you have a disability that meets the SSA's criteria, as described in their "blue book." That means you need medical records, including the results of any medical tests performed on you that may help the government understand the nature and extent of your disability. Other documents you may need to provide include:
- Proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status
- Tax documents such as W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns
- Detailed work history
A single missing document, even if it seems minor, can lead to your application being denied. That's why it's wise to have an attorney help you prepare your application and ensure that nothing is missing.
Absolutely. We routinely deal with denied claims at Chad Jones Law, P.C. - after all, the SSA denies the majority of all applications. There are several steps in the appeals process, including asking the SSA to reconsider your application and going before an administrative law judge (ALJ) for a hearing. We're very familiar with the appeals process and will prepare you to clearly present your disability and needs before the judge.
Disabled children cannot qualify for SSD benefits, but they may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program similar to SSD that provides benefits to people who have not worked enough to pay into the Social Security system. If you do apply on behalf of your child, you will need to provide medical information that proves he or she meets the SSA's definition of disability for children. We can help you through this complex application process to get the income your child needs to be provided for.