Social Security Disability Claims
Get all the benefits you deserve
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
tell the truth.
exaggerate your medical problems, but never minimize them either.
all relevant details and specific examples but donít ramble in your testimony.
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
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:
obtain the proper reports from your physicians and specialists.
you in keeping records that will detail your condition and the extent of your
disability for the judge.
the status of your claim as it moves through the complicated Social Security Administration
further medical evidence from your doctors, if necessary.
an opening statement on your behalf at the administrative hearing.
the necessary questions at the hearing to present your case in the most effective
foundation for a remand or reversal on appeal if the Administrative Law Judge
decides against you.
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.