Q. WHERE DO I APPLY?
You can file an application at any local Social Security Administration office, over the phone with a local office, or online.
If you plan to file your application in person at a local office, we recommend you call to schedule an appointment. To find your local office, click HERE and enter your zip code, or call toll free at 1.800.772.1213.
To file an online application, go to www.ssa.gov, click “Online Services,” then click “Apply for Benefits.”
Q. DO I NEED TO BE DENIED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT?
No, we see clients at every step of the process. Some clients prefer to schedule a consultative appointment prior to applying in order to address any questions about the application process. Please note, we do not file the initial application for you but we are happy to discuss the claims process whenever you are ready.
Q. HOW LONG WILL THE PROCESS TAKE?
Unfortunately, the entire process, from initial application through hearing, can take in excess of two years. On average, an initial decision takes three to four months, and a reconsideration decision (the first level of appeal) takes about as long. In our area, the average wait time to appear in front of an Administrate Law Judge after a hearing has been requested (the second level of appeal) is about 10-12 months. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, there may be things we can do to shorten the time period.
Q. CAN I STILL WORK?
Social Security has strict rules on working while filing a claim for disability. Because any work activity during the claim process can detrimentally affect your claim for benefits, it is recommended you discuss any and all work with your attorney.
Q. WHAT WILL AN ATTORNEY DO FOR ME?
Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience helping people like you qualify for Social Security disability. Our law firm understands the complicated rules and procedures associated with Social Security Disability law. We know what information the Administrative Law Judge will want to see in your claim and how to obtain this information from your doctors. As a local law firm, we are familiar with the judges who will hear your claim, so we know how to present your case in a way most favorable to you.
Q. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
All fees for Social Security disability claims are regulated by Federal law. Social Security attorneys all work on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no up-front or hourly fees when you hire us to represent you, and there is no fee if you lose. If we win your case, our fee will be 25% of the past due disability benefits you get, up to the statutory maximum.
Q. HOW MUCH MONEY WILL MY BENEFITS BE IF I AM APPROVED?
Disability benefit payments are based on your earnings and what you have paid into the system over the years. This amount is noted on the Social Security Statements that were previously mailed to you annually. Social Security has now created a way for you to view this information online. To create a My Social Security account to access your online statement, click HERE.
Supplemental Security Income or SSI benefits are not based on your earning history but are considered need-based. The maximum payment you can receive for SSI benefits is $710 a month for the year 2013. This amount can be reduced by other resources you receive.
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