WHAT IS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY?
Social Security Disability is an insurance system set up by the Federal government. The purpose is to provide a “safety net” of income for people suffering from medical impairments which prevent meaningful employment and earnings. In order to be eligible, you must have paid FICA (Federal income tax deducted by your employer) while working for five of the ten years prior to the date that you became totally disabled. The benefits may also be available for disabled widows or widowers more than 50 years old.
Social Security Disability
How to Apply: There are (3) three ways to file an initial application for Social Security Disability:
1. In-person application at your local Social Security Office. Locations of the Social Security Office can be obtained by calling the Consumer Affairs Office of the Social Security Administration at telephone 800-772-1213.
2. Apply online at Social Security’s website: SSA.Gov.
3. A telephone application can be made by scheduling an appointment with the Consumer Affairs Office of the Social Security Administration, at telephone 800-772-1212.
4. What If Your Application is Denied? About 75% of applications are denied administratively as a nationwide average. The only option is to APPEAL the decision within sixty (60) days of the date of the denial letter from the Social Security Administration. If you don’t appeal, it will be required to file anew and start the process again.
5. Attorney Fees: Attorney fees are contingent; if benefits are not won, no fee is due. Fees are paid based on the value of 25% of past due benefits or a maximum of $6,000.00, whichever is less. All attorney fee arrangements must be set forth clearly in the fee agreement with your attorney and are always subject to strict approval by the Administrative Law Judge.
6. Eligibility for Social Security Disability: To be eligible, a person must be unable to do any kind of substantial gainful work because of a physical or mental impairment (or combination), which is at least for twelve (12) months. Alternatively, the disability must be “reasonably anticipated” to last for at least twelve (12) months. In either case, the fact of disability must be proven by competent and substantial medical evidence. This can include medical reports from physicians, psychiatrists, physical therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other medical providers.
7. Benefits You Can Receive: Benefits are paid to disabled workers and their families and to the families of deceased workers. A disabled claimant will receive the same monthly benefit that he or she would receive at the full retirement age of 65. An adult who was disabled as a minor, even at birth, is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits under a special program. Minors can be eligible for Social Security Income, if strict income and asset requirements are met.