Social Security Disability Claims 

Get all the benefits you deserve ...


 Do I Qualify? 

If you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for five of the last ten years, and you are now totally disabled due to an illness or injury, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits.

In most cases, you must prove to the Social Security Administration that you cannot perform your former job or any other type of work in the present economy, and that your disabling condition will last 12 months or longer.


How Do I Apply? 

Either go in person to the local Social Security office or phone the regional Social Security office at (800) 772-1213, to file your initial application for disability benefits. Expect your first application to be denied. Most initial applications are denied. If you have not already contacted an attorney, this would be the time to consult with one.

If your initial application for benefits is denied, you must ask for a reconsideration within 60 days. Most disability cases are denied again after the reconsideration appeal.

If you are denied again, you must then request a hearing within 60 days. At this hearing you (or you and your attorney) will present your disability claim to an Administrative Law Judge. This judge hears testimony and reviews your doctorís reports, your own records and your application. The judge will usually take several months or longer before issuing a decision in your case.

What Benefits Will I Receive? 

The amount of a favorable award will depend partly upon how much income you earned when you worked. Benefits can range from approximately $300 per month to about $1,600 per month. These benefits will be calculated by the Social Security Administration based upon your income and your contributions to Social Security. Your benefits can be affected by any workersí compensation payments you receive.

There is a five month "waiting period" for Social Security Disability benefits, so the Administration will compute the number of months between the date that you were first determined to be disabled and the date that your claim was settled, and then subtract five months from that number. They will then multiply that result times your monthly award to determine the total amount of back benefits due to you.


For Example: 

You were found to be totally disabled as of August 5, 2005, by the Administrative Law Judge. Your claim was decided favorably on July 15, 2006. Your award was for $1,000 in benefits per month. Disability benefits for eleven months, minus the five month waiting period, equals six months benefits now due.

Your back benefits total $6,000. ($1,000 X 6 months)



Each claim is different. A short brochure such as this one cannot completely prepare you to present your case, and an attorney cannot determine in advance how a judge will rule in a case. There are, however, some simple rules to follow:

Always tell the truth.

Never exaggerate your medical problems, but never minimize them either.

Provide all relevant details and specific examples but donít ramble in your testimony.

Continue to see your own doctor on a regular basis throughout your claim. Long periods of time with no medical treatment could be used as evidence that you were not disabled during that time. If you do not have a doctor, you can probably receive treatment at a county hospital such as Parkland in Dallas county or John Peter Smith in Tarrant county.
Donít worry. Your attorney will be there to help you if you forget something or donít bring out the necessary details at your administrative hearing.


What Can An Attorney Do For Me? 

At Hughes Law Office, we prefer to be called in on a Social Security Disability claim right at the beginning so that we can advise you and help to protect your rights throughout the Social Security process. We can assist you at both the initial stage, as well as at your formal hearing with the Administrative Law Judge. 

What we can do:

Help you obtain the proper reports from your physicians and specialists.

Assist you in keeping records that will detail your condition and the extent of your disability for the judge.

Monitor the status of your claim as it moves through the complicated Social Security Administration system.

Request further medical evidence from your doctors, if necessary.

Deliver an opening statement on your behalf at the administrative hearing.

Ask you the necessary questions at the hearing to present your case in the most effective manner.

Lay the foundation for a remand or reversal on appeal if the Administrative Law Judge decides against you.

Verify that the monthly amount and beginning date of benefits are correct.  

At the law firm of Hughes Law Office, we will be pleased to assist you with any questions you have regarding Social Security Disability. 

Our law firm also represents people who have other types of legal† claims, including insurance and employment claims.

We invite you to call us with any legal problem. If we cannot help you, we will attempt to refer you to an attorney or an agency that can help you.



Law Office of Joseph S. Hughes
500 North Cass
P.O. Box 83
Berrien Springs MI 49103
Telephone: 269-473-2370
Fax: 269-912-5944