Social Security Questions

How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?
Who is entitled to Social Security Disability benefits?
What if I am turned down for Social Security Disability benefits?
Should I get a lawyer to represent me in my Social Security Disability case?
What will a lawyer charge to represent me in my Social Security Disability case?
Can I get Social Security Disability benefits and still work?
Can I get Social Security Disability benefits if I am receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
How much will my benefits be?

How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

You may call your local Social Security office or visit the Social Security Administration website, www.ssa.gov to download an application. Your first application can be taken over the telephone.

Who is entitled to Social Security Disability benefits?

If you are not working now, and have a serious illness or disability which is expected to last at least twelve months, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you must have a condition that is considered “severe” under Social Security guidelines. That means that the condition must prevent you from performing basic work activities. Severe impairments include, but are not limited to, mental disorders, multiple sclerosis, lung diseases, severe heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, AIDS, blindness/deafness, spine, bone and joint disorders, and cancer.

What if I am turned down for Social Security Disability benefits?

More than half the people who initially apply for Social Security Disability benefits have their applications denied. Many of these people go on to receive benefits after a hearing with an administrative law judge, who can see them in person. For this reason, you should always appeal your initial denial. It is extremely important to file your appeal within the time limit given in the notice of your denial.

Should I get a lawyer to represent me in my Social Security Disability case?

You should get a lawyer if you are turned down for benefits. If you can’t find a lawyer within the 60 day appeal period from your denial, you should go ahead and file your appeal on your own while you continue to look for a lawyer, to keep your claim alive.

What will a lawyer charge to represent me in my Social Security Disability case?

The lawyers at Patterson Harkavy will charge a contingent fee for representing you in your Social Security Disability case. That means we will not be paid unless you are awarded benefits. The Social Security Administration reviews attorney fees in Social Security Disability cases, and will have to approve the fee before it is paid. The initial consultation with Patterson Harkavy in a Social Security Disability case is free.

Can I get Social Security Disability benefits and still work?

If you are working full time you generally will not be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. However, if you have been working only part time because of your serious illness or injury, you may still be entitled to benefits. You may also be entitled to temporary benefits if you are out of work for a period of time. If this is your situation, you should call an attorney for a free initial consultation.

Can I get Social Security Disability benefits if I am receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

You can receive both Social Security Disability benefits and workers’ compensation benefits from an injury. However, in many cases there will be a reduction from your Social Security Disability check to account for your receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. The amount of the deduction will depend on the amount of your previous earnings from work and the amount of your workers’ compensation checks. If you are paying an attorney in your workers’ compensation case, there will be no offset from your Social Security Disability check for the amount you pay your attorney.

How much will my benefits be?

Your Social Security Disability benefits will be calculated on the basis of the five highest earning years in the previous ten years before you apply for benefits. You may calculate the amount of your potential benefits by visiting the government’s Social Security website, www.ssa.gov.