Social Security & Disability Attorney
Frequently Asked Questions
Social Security Disability Insurance is the most important type of Social Security disability benefit. It is paid to those who have worked in recent years (five out of the last ten years in most cases) who are now disabled. Supplemental Security Income benefits, however, are paid to those who qualify finacially and who are disabled. It does not matter for SSI whether an individual has worked in the past or not.
Social Security will obtain and review your medical records. The SSA will then evaluate your claim using its 5-step sequential evaluation process.
No. You have to have been disabled for at least a year, or expect to be disabled for at least a year, or have a condition that is expected to result in death within a year.
Many people seeking Social Security disability benefits have more than one health problem that affects their ability to work. Social Security must consider the combination of impairments when determining disability. The combined effects of all of your medical impairments, including mental health impairments, must be considered by the SSA.
Most Social Security disability claims in Maine are denied at the time of the initial application. In New Hampshire, about half are initially denied. If your initial application is denied by Social Security, you should appeal that determination within 60 days. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you. Many clients contact me for the first time after they have received a denial letter in the mail.
The Social Security Administration has a provision to expedite dire need cases. Dire need is when the claimant is without (and is unable to obtain) food, medicine or shelter. Mere hardship is not enough; the situation must be dire.Read more about dire need.
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after receiving an initial denial. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner he will be able to take the steps necessary to develop your case. You have only 60 days to appeal a denied claim. Learn about choosing the best disability lawyer for you.
In most cases, your attorney receives one-quarter of the back benefits if you win, and no fee if you lose. Again, we receive no fee unless you are granted benefits. Read more about attorney fees.
Give complete information to Social Security about the medical conditions that prevent you from working.
Since your disability claim will be evaluated primarily based upon your medical records, you should obtain regular, ongoing medical treatment.
Lastly, you can hire an experienced disability attorney to represent you. Statistically, claimants with an attorney are much more likely to obtain benefits than those who go unrepresented.
There are no fees until you are awarded your benefits. Congress sets the fees for Social Security and SSI disability cases must be approved by the Social Security Administration. The fees are 25% of the past-due benefits you receive. Currently, there is a $6,000 maximum fee if you win at the hearing level or earlier in the process. For example, if your past-due benefits are $40,000, attorneys fees are limited to a maximum of $6,000. If you do not win at the hearing level and eventually prevail after additional appeals, your fee can be greater than $6,000, but never more than 25% of your past-due benefits. Also, unlike other firms, we do not charge you for administrative fees or ask you for any up froncosts to cover items like obtaining medical records.
A qualified Orange County disability attorney can help you with your case and get you more back benefits.
Every case is unique. Sometimes it's best to wait and file, other times it's best to file right away. We achieve better results when we file at the most favorable time for our clients. We can help you avoid falling into the trap of filing too soon or too late.
Contact us today for assistance with filing. It may be advisable to apply online or with an employee at the Social Security Administration or with our assistance, depending on your situation. We can often increase your chances to win at the first level and we’re able to explain frequently confusing questions to applicants.
Your earnings and Social Security taxes are based on the amount of your monthly disability benefits. Everyone should go on the Social Security website (www.ssa.gov) and click the circle in the lower left hand corner that says “My Social Security” and open an account. It takes very little time and you will be able to view everything that is going on in your Social Security account. It is extremely valuable information.