Social Security Disability FAQ's
- What is Social Security Disability?
- What Type of Conditions are Considered Disabled?
- What will I Receive if I am Found to Be Disabled by the Social Security Administration?
- Can I Receive Health Insurance Benefits?
- Can I Be Represented?
- How Do I Pay My Representative?
- How Do I Apply?
- Do I Have to Appear in Front of a Judge?
- How Long Can I Collect Benefits?
- Can I Return to Work After Receiving Benefits?
Social Security Disability is a federal disability benefit payable to an individual who has a disability that has lasted at least a year or is expected to last a year.
The Social Security Administration will consider any medical condition as long as it causes disability. Examples include neck injuries, back injuries, knee injuries, stress/psychiatric injuries, repetitive trauma injuries and neurological disorders.
In addition, the disability can result from a work-related injury but there is no requirement as non-work-related injuries are considered as well.
Recipients receive a monthly disability payment from the government. The amount of the payment depends upon an individual’s earnings in the years leading up to disability. Benefit checks range from several hundred dollars per month to over $2,000.00 per month.
Disabled individuals are entitled to Medicare coverage once they have been receiving benefits for a sufficient period of time.
Very many Social Security Disability claimants are represented throughout the application process.
This is called a “contingent fee”. No fee is paid if the application is unsuccessful. Generally the representative’s fee is based upon the arrearage or past due benefits. The fee is 25% of these benefits up to a maximum of $6,000.00. Usually the fee is paid directly by the Social Security Administration from the arrearage of benefits.
An initial application must be filed with the Social Security Administration. The application can be filed in person at a local Social Security office or online at ssa.gov. The application is lengthy and detailed. Upon completion, the Social Security Administration will gather all the medical records and make a determination of eligibility.
In the event that an individual’s application has been denied twice, then the matter is heard by an Administrative Law Judge at a Social Security Disability hearing. These hearings are informal although representation is highly recommended.
Generally an award of Social Security Disability is open ended however the agency has the right to review applications every so often.
Social Security does allow a one time trial to return to work. Generally an individual has the right to return to work for up to nine months while still receiving a monthly check. At the end of the nine month period then the individual must stop working or relinquish the check.
In addition, Social Security Disability recipients can work on an ongoing unlimited basis as long as their monthly earnings are limited.