A Few Tips to Help Understand Social Security Disability

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Attorneys

 

Social Security Disability is Not for Free Rides

Millions of Americans are disabled and not able to work.  They want to work and they probably have been working with a disability.  Not able to take the time off work to heal and get better.  Only compouding their problem because not only do they need to work they want to work.  We have never had a client that we felt was just being lazy and wanted to apply for disability.  If we ever do we will drop that client as fast as we can because the Social Security Disability system is not setup for free rides.

Mental and Physical Disabilities are Covered

The Social Security Disability system was created as a safety net and not for laziness.  Social Security Disability is available for anyone who is of working age (18-64) and who is not able to work according to the rules of the SSA.  Physical disabilities and mental disabilities are considered when submitting an application for SSI or SSDI.  These disabilities range from a wide variety of known disorders.   Problems with speech, motor skills, learning, psychological problems are all valid reason for disability.  Having a diagnosis is not the only thing the Social Security cares about.  In fact really all they care about is can you work.  They don’t care if the job you can do is fulfilling, will keep your standard of living or even be enough to sustain a family.  If you were fortunate to have a job that paid very well and you are no longer able to do that job it does not mean you will get approved.  It does not mean you won’t get approved either.  That is not the only criteria set for approval of Social Security Disability.

 

If You are Under 50 Your Chances of Approval are Lower

The rules set by the SSA change with age.  As you get older it does become easier to get approved.  That is mostly due to the part that as you age Social Security says you are less trainable and less likely to acquire new job skills.  Anyone under the age of 50 applying for disability is considered trainable.  This means that you must prove to Social Security that you can’t hold employment in any line of work.  Your past work is considered when you are under 50.  When you are over 50 it is taken into consideration on a much larger scale.  If you are over 49 because you are considered less trainable your past relevant work from the last 15 years is viewed to see if any job skills you aquired in the past 15 years are transferable to other jobs.

Treat with Doctors

Treating with doctors will only help strength your disability application.  If you are able to see doctors it is always wise to see them and follow their orders.  Make sure that you make it to your appointments and practice what they prescribe.   Medical records are the proof that can make or break a disability claim.  If you provide the information requested by the Social Security Administration they will gather your medical in the first two stages.  In the Administrative Law Judge (usually the third stage) it is your burden to make sure your records are up to date and submitted.

It Can Take Years for a Final Decision

Keep in mind that applying for Social Security Disability is a process that takes time.  The system is weighed against approvals in an attempt to keep fraud to a minimum.  If it was easy to get on we wouldn’t have any clients and would be working somewhere else.  Experience and knowledge go a long way when applying.  It is not uncommon for an attorney to feel comfortable in the system from beginning to end after working hundreds of cases.  Remember it is the government after all.  You can not drive down to the other disability place because this one isn’t giving you the service you feel you deserve.  Customer service is not a top priority when you are an applicant for SSI or SSDI.

Social Security Disability Applications Need Experience

Social Security Disability Application and Experience

Ask a Disability Attorney

Q: How can an attorney help with my Social Security Disability application? Someone at my local Social Security office told me that I don’t want an attorney to help me apply.

A:  Without an attorney there are a couple of ways to apply for disability, and each of those ways will likely result in either an incomplete application or a bare-bones application.  Applying online over the internet seems like it would be the easy way to go, however, you’ll likely come across some questions that you don’t understand and are unsure of how to answer. Leaving anything blank or providing only barebones information can result in denial of your claim.  Applying at your local Social Security office or over the phone with a Social Security representative often leads to incomplete and inaccurate applications as well. Disability applications require very detailed information about your medical treatment and job history. Many times you won’t have all of this information with you when you’re at the Social Security office or when you’re on the phone with a representative. Not to fault government workers, but if you’ve ever been to a Social Security office, you can see that the representatives are overworked and simply trying to get through the significant lines of people that they deal with on a daily basis. At Social Security, they’ll call your number when it’s finally your turn, and they’ll treat you like a number too. A little-known fact is that the representative is also required to note their perception of your disability on the application. So if you have a back problem and you happen to be having one of those rare good days, the Social Security Representative will likely note that they didn’t see anything wrong with you.An attorney can help with your application by explaining the questions Social Security is asking. Social Security often denies people for minor mistakes on an application; these errors can be prevented when you work with an attorney experienced in filing applications. A good attorney will take all of the information needed for your application and review it before submitting the application to Social Security. Your chances of being approved are significantly increased when an attorney assists you in filing your application; an attorney wants you to win your case, they’ll take the time to make sure that your application is done right.

Social Security Disability Applications
When submitting an application for disability the Social Security Administration will gather your medical records. Just make sure you give the correct information when applying otherwise the records won’t be collected and evaluated as part of your claim.

When applying for disability a mistake we see very often is claimants, without representation, applying for the wrong programs. There are two disability programs through Social Security Disability. When you apply for one you do not automatically apply for the other. They have two applications. Combining the two applications is not a challenge that has been achieved by the Social Security Administration. .Social Security is still catching up with the rest of us living with a computer at home, at the office, in our pocket, our car, all networked to grandma’s Life Alert, and the computer keeping her heart pumping. Many times people do not realize there are two programs let alone what the eligibility requirements are for these programs. Any decent Social Security Firm should be able to figure what programs you probably are eligible for in less than ten questions. If you apply for the wrong program and are not aware of the other program it will add months and possibly years because you just didn’t know.

“A good attorney will take all of the information needed for your application and review it before submitting the application to Social Security. “
“Our job to make this as painless as possible for our clients.  We need our clients to stay focused on the path we have set for them and let us worry about the big and little picture.”

Many things can come up during the long process of disability application.  Things can pop up during the application phase, after a denial, during an appeal, while waiting for a scheduled hearing date.  It is like most things in life; you get what you pay for.  If you are worried about the cost of having representation consider that you are paying for our experience to give your claim, it’s best shot.  A lot of the time clients will think nothing is going on, and their attorney is doing nothing for them.  This is usually far from the truth.  We get paid to deal with Social Security.  If something comes up that we can deal with, and there is no need to stress a client out about the issue we usually don’t bring it up.  That is our job to make this as painless as possible for our clients.  We need our clients to stay focused on the path we have set for them and let us worry about the big and little picture.

Social Security Disability Attorney or Advocate?

Social Security Disability Representatives Attorney or Advocates?

Advocate, Attorney…What is the Difference?

When you’re looking for someone to represent you in your disability case, make sure to find out whether they’re an attorney or an advocate. They’re very different things. An advocate is not an attorney; they have not gone to law school, passed the bar, or done anything to prove their competence other than take a multiple-choice test about social security.

Never underestimate the value of legal training. Law School teaches a little about the law and a lot more about how to think critically. When you’re sitting in your disability hearing and something potentially damaging to your case comes out; that’s when you’ll be glad you’ve got an attorney. Attorneys are trained to undermine assumptions and attack facts that are damaging to your case; it’s just the way we’ve been trained to think. An advocate may know Social Security rules and regulations, but that doesn’t mean they can think on their feet when a problem arises.

Disability Attorney or Advocate?
Advocates and Attorneys are paid the same rate set by the Social Security Administration. The rate is only paid if an application is approved and it is set at 25% of the back payment never exceeding $6,000.

Many of the larger Social Security Disability “firms” employ advocates rather than attorneys. This should be a huge red flag. Essentially these firms are looking to cut costs by employing non-attorneys. If they cut corners with their employees, they’re likely to cut corners on your case too.

Truth is that Judges look at advocates different than attorneys. Think about it: Judges are lawyers too. Lawyers have egos and it’s offensive to them when an advocate walks in and pretends to play the part of a lawyer. While a judge may not say it to your face, I’ve had many behind closed door conversations with judges where they’ve expressed their unfavorable opinions of advocates.

Keep in mind that Social Security Attorneys and Advocates are both paid the same fees. If you’re going to pay for someone to work on your Social Security Disability case why pay an advocate when you can get an attorney to work on your case.

Requirements for an Advocate Set by Law
1.Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education or at least four years of relevant professional experience and either a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate.
2. Pass a written examination that the Social Security Administration (SSA) writes and administers which tests the knowledge of the relevant provisions of the Act and the most recent developments in SSA and court decisions affecting titles II and XVI of the Act;
3. Secure and maintain continuous professional liability insurance or equivalent insurance, which SSA determines to be adequate to protect claimants in the event of malpractice by the representative;
4. Undergo a criminal background check to ensure the representative’s fitness to practice before us; and
5. Demonstrate ongoing completion of qualified courses of continuing education including education regarding ethics and professional conduct, which are designed to enhance professional knowledge in matters related to entitlement to, or eligibility for, benefits based on disability under titles II and XVI of the Act.
Source

Long Term Disability with Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability are two separate programs.

Ask a Disability Attorney: How does Social Security Disability affect Long Term Disability Benefits?

Age 60, Maintenance

Many employers offer short term and long term disability programs for employees who find themselves unable to work due to qualifying medical conditions. Application for these programs is usually done through the human resources department at your work or through the insurance carrier.

Once you’ve applied for short term disability, you’re usually covered for anywhere from 3 to 6 months at which point the short term disability insurance carrier will require you to apply for long term disability.

Social Security DIsability and Long Term Disability
Once you’ve applied for short term disability, you’re usually covered for anywhere from 3 to 6 months at which point the short term disability insurance carrier will require you to apply for long term disability.

One nasty little thing to watch out for when you’re on or applying for long term disability and applying for Social Security Disability is the subrogation clause. In very basic terms, a subrogation clause requires a recipient of long term disability payments to repay the long term carrier for benefits received if that person is ultimately approved for Social Security Disability. The terms as to how much must be repaid and over what time period may vary between different insurance carriers. So if you’re on long term disability and you get approved for Social Security Disability, we’d recommend that you check with your long term disability carrier before you go out and spend a significant portion of your Social Security Disability payment.

To sum it up, you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits at any time whether you’re on short term or long term disability. If you do apply, make sure you watch out for subrogation clauses which may require you to pay money back to your long term disability carrier. If you have questions about your long term disability policy or whether you’re required to apply, check with your carrier.

If you are required to apply for Social Security Disability, the experienced staff at Alliance Disability, along with our knowledgeable Social Security Disability attorneys, can help you apply and take the hassle out of your hands. We’ve helped thousands through the process and can offer our knowledge and experience to help you get approved.

What Will Social Security Disability Pay Me?

The amount paid by the Social Security Administration varies depending on your work status over the previous 10 years.

Ask a Disability Attorney
Q:  What Will Social Security Disability Pay Me If I Am Approved?

Age 45, Pilot

The amount paid by the Social Security Administration varies depending on your work status over the previous 10 years.

A:  There are two different Social Security Disability programs that most people apply for. The two programs pay different amounts and these two disability programs also require two separate applications.  Make sure you apply for the right program.  Sometimes, it is best to apply for both to make sure you are covered.  You can only apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or SSDI online.  So if you fill out an application online keep in mind you only applied for one program.  The online application does not cover Supplemental Security Income the program based on financial need.

The first program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), pays varying amounts based on what you’ve paid into the disability system. Your earnings are taxed and a portion goes to essentially buy into a government run disability program that’s available to workers who need it. The higher your earnings over the years, the higher your disability benefit will be. In 2015, the highest monthly payment available is $2,663. There is a complicated formula used to determine what your monthly benefit payment will be.

Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) Monthly Awards

 Total NumberPercent
Total10,228,364100%
Less than $300.00308,7673%
$300.00–399.90289,0882.80%
$400.00–499.90392,3633.80%
$500.00–599.90441,7964.30%
$600.00–699.90606,0425.90%
$700.00–799.901,003,1049.80%
$800.00–899.901,035,87710.10%
$900.00–999.90944,9689.20%
$1,000.00–1,099.90842,3458.20%
$1,100.00–1,199.90735,2277.20%
$1,200.00–1,299.90630,7446.20%
$1,300.00–1,399.90521,8305.10%
$1,400.00–1,499.90435,7364.30%
$1,500.00–1,599.90366,1623.60%
$1,600.00–1,699.90308,8643%
$1,700.00–1,799.90267,5392.60%
$1,800.00–1,899.90219,3662.10%
$1,900.00–1,999.90202,5192%
$2,000.00–2,099.90233,0122.30%
$2,100.00–2,199.90166,9151.60%
$2,200.00 or more276,1002.70%
This table only shows benefits collected under the Disability Insurance Benefits program. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not shown.

Social Security Disability pays a different amount depending on many different factors.

Think of SSDI like an insurance policy that you purchase through your payroll.  To be eligible for this policy usually you have to pay into the system for five years.  However,  your eligibility does not end when you stop paying into Social Security Disability Insurance through your paycheck.  It ends when the work credits you have accrued expire.  Typically it takes five years for these credits to expire.  In short it is a policy that takes fives years on average to use the disability benefits and five years of not contributing to lose.  The easiest  way to determine what your monthly payment will be is by visiting  www.ssa.gov/mystatement/  This Social Security Administration website can give you up to date information about what your monthly benefits may be if you’re found disabled by Social Security Disability rules. It will also give you a summary of your earnings used to calculate the amount. If you disagree with the earnings that your benefits are based on, you can contact the Social Security Administration. Your SSDI payment can be reduced if you’re receiving Workers’ Comp or Temporary State Disability benefits. If you’re receiving these types of benefits you should talk to Social Security or an attorney to determine how your benefits may be affected.
The second program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), pays one amount to all recipients. The 2015 federal SSI payment amount is $733. This amount may vary by state as some states like California and New York supplement the federal payment and pay recipients slightly more. The $733 can be reduced based on household income or failure to pay your pro-rata share of household expenses. For example, if you live in a household that has 2 people and the total household expenses are $1000 and you pay only $300 per month towards those expenses, you’re not paying your pro-rata share and your SSI payment may be reduced. A good attorney can help ensure that your SSI benefits are not reduced by drafting agreements between you and others in the household or by creating something called a special needs trust.

If you become unable to work due to disability and you are eligible do not delay your Social Security Disability Insurance application.  We have seen far too many people lose out on higher pay because they lost the work credits needed for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  If you lose out on these benefits it is possible that you may not be eligible for any program.  Supplemental Security Income is based on household income.  Social Security Disability Insurance does not consider household income because eligibility is based on earned work credits.  You paid into to the system for years utilize what you have earned as soon as you can.

What will Social Security Disability Pay Me After Approval

Does a Doctors Note Help a SSI SSDI Application?

Is a Doctors note necessary for Social Security Disability Applications?

Ask a Disability Attorney
Q: Do I need a note from a Doctor for my disability claim?

Engineer,Age 52,

A: When people apply for disability they make the common mistake of thinking that their diagnosis alone will be enough to get them approved for benefits. In reality, your diagnosis rarely plays a significant role in your case. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to have some medically diagnosed condition because you do, however, your diagnosis doesn’t matter as much as you may think. For example, one potential client who had a child who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at birth was confident her child had a slam dunk case. While that is certainly a serious diagnosis, it doesn’t always manifest itself right away. The mere diagnosis wasn’t enough to have a good disability case. Social Security looks at both your diagnosis and, more importantly, the limitations that result from your diagnosis.

In Social Security, the legal questions aren’t whether you have a disability; we know you do. The question is whether you have a disability to the point that you can’t work. Your diagnosis doesn’t tell Social Security anything about your limitations or inability to work; this is because medical conditions often affect people differently. Limitations are what tell Social Security what jobs you can or can’t do. Social Security speaks the language of limitations. Many people applying for disability ask if they should get a note from their doctor saying that they’re physically or mentally challenged or have such and such condition…it won’t do you any good. A note from your doctor stating that you’re disabled or have diagnosis with some medical condition doesn’t say anything about your limitations.

In EVERY disability case, the Social Security Administration has to come to a conclusion as to what your limitations are. When you meet with your doctor, ask them to write a note about your limitations. Limitations include things like: how long can you stand for? How far can you walk? How long can you sit at one time? How much weight can you lift? Having your doctor answer questions like these will do more for your case than a note saying you’re disabled.

One benefit of working with a disability attorney is that a good attorney has developed forms for your doctor to fill out. These forms ask the doctor to state your limitations in a clear and succinct way that Social Security can understand. Some of these forms, usually called “Residual Functional Capacity Assessments” can be found by searching online. If you have questions about these forms, don’t hesitate to contact our office. An experienced disability attorney will understand what Social Security looks for in a claim. How to speak and put your disabilities the language of Social Security.

Social Security is much more concerned about how your disabilities prevent you from working. When your doctor writes a letter stating you are disabled they are only reinforcing what Social Security can see in your medical records. Put your disabilities in the language of Social Security. Why can’t you work? What are your limitations? Speaking the language of Social Security Disability is important in every claim.

I Was Denied Social Security Disability, Now What?

Social Security Disability Applications are usually denied but the system does allow for appeals.

Ask a Disability Attorney

Q: My Application was Denied by Social Security for Disability. Now What?

Architect, Age 53,

A: Your greatest chances of being approved for disability benefits are at the administrative law judge level of appeal. After your claim has been appealed twice (both at the initial claim and reconsideration level) you will eventually have the opportunity to appear before an administrative law judge to make your case for disability. Statistically your chances of being approved at a hearing are right around 50%, depending on where you live.

Some states do not have the reconsideration stage under the ‘prototype ‘ program. The areas where the reconsideration stage are Alabama, Alaska, California (Los Angeles North and West Branches), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania. This program allows denied claims to file for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge by passing the reconsideration stage. It essentially cuts a whole step out of the appeals process. The time this could save is huge for a claimant who needs benefits sooner than later. This program enacted as Federal Code 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.906, 416.1406. It has been in the trial process for quite a while.

Social Security Administration Denied My Application Now What?

In addition to finally having someone who knows the law look at your case, your chances at the administrative law judge level of increase because medical records tend to be complete at the hearing level. When people apply for benefits, they provide information that allows Social Security to get their medical records. Anytime you are denied update Social Security about any new medical treatment. Documentation of your disabilities paints an accurate and in-depth picture of your conditions. Along the same lines, as times passes the severity of your condition is highlighted to the judge because your condition has lasted since your application until the hearing.

Unlike other levels of appeal, this is the first time that your case is being examined by someone at Social Security that is an expert. At lower levels of appeal, your case is almost given a rubber stamp denial unless you’re nearly dead. At the administrative law judge level, your case is examined by the judge’s staff, which consists of attorneys specializing in disability law, as well as the judge himself. Your case is given a very in depth examination. Sometimes this results in cases being approved without a hearing; in some instances when the judge’s staff reviews a case they will grant disability benefits without a hearing.

Probably the greatest factor contributing to higher approval ratings at the administrative law judge level of appeal is the contribution of attorneys. If you go to a hearing without a lawyer, it’s almost guaranteed that the judge is going to try to get you to reschedule the hearing and get an attorney. A few people are adamant about going without an attorney, but the majority of people at the hearing level have attorneys to argue their case to the judge. Not only does representation know the hearing process and the appropriate questions to ask, but they also assist in the development of your case. It’s unfortunate, but judges often speak down to people who show up without an attorney. If you’re going to go without an attorney, don’t let the judge badger you. You have the right to a hearing – it’s your time to be heard. Be sure to review thoroughly the hearing notice that you receive; it will give you a summary of the hearing process and what you need to prove to win your case. If this seems too confusing our stressful, contact an attorney. Social Security attorneys all work on a contingency fee basis which means they only get paid if they win your case. To learn more about attorney fees in Social Security, check out What is This Going to Cost Me?!

Missing Medical Records for a Social Security Application

Can anything be done about missing medical records for a Social Security Disability application?

Ask a Disability Attorney: Q: What if I am missing medical records for my disability hearing?

Construction, Age 40
Social Security Disability Applications are only stronger with doctors care.

A: If you’re scheduled for a disability hearing for your Social Security disability case, chances are you’ve waited a long time to get there. When you finally get in front of a judge to make your case for disability, you want to make sure that the judge sees everything there is to see in your case; you want to make sure that all of your medical records are in front of the judge.

When you’re scheduled for a disability hearing, you’ll be provided with a copy of your file. Your file includes all of the medical records that will be discussed at your hearing and is usually provided to you in electronic format. If you don’t have access to a computer you can go to the hearing office in advance of your disability hearing to view the file. We recommend that you view your file around two months prior to your hearing. The reason for the early review is so you can identify which medical records may be missing from your file and so you can have time to request and receive those records prior to a hearing.

The medical records in your disability file are in the “F” section of the file and are labeled with the name of the medical provider and dates of first and last treatment. For example Dr. Johnson – 1/1/2012 -12/31/2012. So if you saw Dr. Johnson after 12/31/12, the Social Security hearing office is missing your more recent records since they only have records through that date. In addition to reviewing what records they have for treatment dates, you should also look for medical records that aren’t in the file. Once you’ve got a list of which records need updating and which are missing, you can get to work requesting the records.

Remember that the laws of most states entitle you to a free copy of your medical records.


Sometimes, due to no fault of your own, you’ll be unable to get all of the medical records prior to the hearing. Medical providers can sometimes give you quite a hassle about medical records and getting them on a deadline can be difficult. If this happens, don’t freak out. If you’re not going to get records in time for your hearing, write a letter to the judge assigned to your case detailing that records are missing and the efforts that you took to get them. Close the letter by asking for additional time “post-hearing” to provide the medical records and give the judge an estimated time frame as to when the records should are expected. Submit this letter to the judge a few days prior to your disability hearing. Take a copy of the letter to your disability hearing and remind the judge that you’ve requested time to provide the records. Just submitting the letter won’t be enough, you need to ask specifically for time to produce the documents.

Depending on how many records are missing the judge will likely either grant your request to provide the records after the hearing (you’ll usually be given two to four weeks – or more time if there are special circumstance), or if there are significant records missing, the judge may postpone your hearing so that the records can be received and reviewed before you try and make your case.

 

Why Is Social Security Disability Slow?

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Attorneys

Ask a Disability Attorney

Why is Social Security Disability Slow?

After you’ve submitted an application for benefits, even if you did it online, your application has to be copied by hand into another computer system. The stack of applications waiting to be copied is significant. Once it’s copied it has to be reviewed to see if everything is in order before they even begin to look at your medical condition. If your application passes the first stage (meaning you didn’t make any mistakes) it will be sent to another state agency to make the decision about your disability.

The agency that receives your application is called Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS is so far behind that they often farm your case out to DDS agencies from other states across the United States. Once DDS receives your application (usually 2-3 months after you submit your application) they finally begin to collect your medical records. Obtaining medical records isn’t an easy process. Contrary to the belief of some, there is no national repository of medical records. Individual record requests are mailed to your doctors, payment has to be made, and those records then have to be sent to whichever DDS is requesting your records. Obtaining records will take a long time if the DDS working your case is in Boston, and your doctors are in San Diego. Keep in mind that you want DDS to get all of your records, if they’re taking the time to get them is a good thing.

You can help the process by submitting any medical records that you have to DDS. Call your local Social Security office and ask them for the contact information for the DDS examiner in your case. Call the inspector and make arrangements for them to get the records you have; the fewer records they need to collect, the sooner they’ll make a decision in your case.

Why is Social Security Disability Slow?
Long periods of waiting for an answer from Social Security are normal. There is very little that can be done to speed up a claim. Social Security does not always get the funding it needs to meet the demands on the system. The Social Security Administration is understaffed, and is working with very limited resources. This can lead to long wait times when awaiting a decision on an application.

Another thing that can slow decision in your case is a failure to return forms sent to you by Social Security. In most disability cases you’ll receive two sets of forms from Social Security: a work history report that asks you to give details about your past work, and a function report that details about your daily activities and physical and mental limitations. If you don’t return these documents quickly, your case will be delayed.

There are a few situations where your case may be eligible to be expedited. If your condition is expected to end in death, if you’re in danger of losing your home or being evicted, or if you’re 100% totally and permanently disabled through the Veteran’s Administration you may qualify to have your case expedited. This can cut the decision time in half in most cases. There are several other situations that may allow your case to be expedited; these are slightly more complicated so working with an attorney is highly recommended.

Social Security Disability takes forever due to many reasons.  Political conflicts with the system lead to

How Much Does A Social Security Disability Attorney Cost?

How Much Does A Social Security Disability Attorney Cost?

How Much Does a Social Security Disability Attorney Cost?

How Much Does A Social Security Disability Attorney Cost?
Social Security Attorney Fees are the Same Nationwide.

The Social Security Disability Attorney cost is controlled strictly by the Social Security Administration. Any representation in the 50 states and U.S. territories abides by the same regulations for payment. The rates are the same no matter where you find help, and Social Security Disability Attorneys fees are only paid when successful at obtaining benefits for their client. There is never any need to pay upfront, make payment plans, or even negotiate your terms. You won’t have to sell the family heirloom to the pawn shop spinning the “We Buy Gold” sign on the corner, or donate plasma weekly to afford legal assistance. The fee in all Social Security Disability cases is set by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. All Social Security Disability attorneys must abide by this rate. Social Security pays a representative directly out of the back pay. A claimant will receive a breakdown of how their payment distributed. Simply, payment is always dependent on a successful outcome for benefits and is paid directly by the Social Security Administration out of your back pay.

Who Sets The Social Security Disability Attorney Cost?
The amount charged by Social Security Disability attorneys is the same nationwide. The Disability Attorney Cost is set by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
Social Security Disability Attorney Cost

If an attorney is successful in a Social Security Disability claim, 25% of the clients back pay is paid to their attorney. The rate is set and regulated by the Social Security Administration. If you are unable to get approved you owe your representative absolutely nothing. It is very simple you only pay a Social Security Disability Attorney out of the back pay of your earnings and only if you are successful at getting your disability benefits. Future benefits are 100% off limits to any representation. This is the same nationwide.

Since disability attorneys are all paid the same, don’t worry about shopping around for a deal. Instead, focus on finding a firm that’s a good fit for you. When making your choice we always say trust your gut. Go with the firm that makes you feel the most comfortable. A Social Security Disability firm that takes an active interest up front tends to actively be involved throughout the case. There are times when we talk to people and never hear from them again. That is fine we don’t want someone to come on board with doubts. We are here to provide the information and answer your questions. If you are the right fit for us, and you feel we are the right fit for you, that’s great. Attorney fees should not be a factor when selecting your representation.

Don't Consider Disability Attorney Cost When Selecting An Attorney
All Disability Attorneys are paid the same amount so don’t spend time shopping for a bargain. Don’t consider Disability Attorney Cost, instead focus on whether your attorney is a good fit for you and meets your specific needs.
How Much Does A Disability Attorney Cost?

Social Security Disability Attorneys receive 25% of the back pay, not to exceed $6,000. The average payment in 2014 was around $2850. The $6,000 maximum payout is not an everyday occurrence. Typically these would be for cases that have been pending for far too long.

The fee is 25% of your past due benefits or back pay. Generally back pay is the amount of past due benefits that accrue from the time you apply for benefits until the time you’re approved. Applying can be tough on most people financially. At least upon approval you are paid for the time you wait for Social Security to process your claim for disability. As in most things in life, there are certain exceptions that apply to back pay. A knowledgeable representative would be aware of these exceptions and sometimes can even get you more than was originally awarded by Social Security.

One common exception is when applying for Disability Insurance Benefits, your back pay will start once you have been out of work for five months. It is possible to get approved in the first stage and get little to no back pay. When this happens to a client Social Security Attorney Fees sometimes are zero. Sometimes attorneys do work pro bono!

Social Security Disability Attorney Cost - 25% of Backpay
All Social Security Disability attorneys are paid the same amount. The Disability Attorney Cost is 25% of backpay or $6000, whichever is less. Backpay in a disability case is generally the amount that accrues between the time you apply for benefits and the time you are approved.
When An Attorney Can Charge a Fee
(2)(A) In the case of a claim of entitlement to past-due benefits under this title, if—

(i) an agreement between the claimant and another person regarding any fee to be recovered by such person to compensate such person for services with respect to the claim is presented in writing to the Commissioner of Social Security prior to the time of the Commissioner’s determination regarding the claim,

(ii) the fee specified in the agreement does not exceed the lesser of—

(I) 25 percent of the total amount of such past-due benefits (as determined before any applicable reduction under section 1127(a)), or
(II) $6,000, and

(iii) the determination is favorable to the claimant,

Disability Attorney Cost And When a Fee Can Be Charged

Disability Attorney Cost only Charged If You Win
When you hire a Disability Attorney, don’t worry about getting stuck with a bill you can’t pay. The Disability Attorney Cost is only paid if you ultimately win your case for benefits.
Are There Other Costs Involved?
Additional costs in a Social Security Disability case are uncommon. During the first and second stages of a claim, , Social Security will collect and pay for any medical records related to your disability claim. However, in the third phase Social Security puts this responsibility back on the claimant. If your case goes to a hearing with a judge you and your attorney will be responsible for collecting and paying for any new medical evidence. We always encourage our clients to get updated records as they visit their doctors; this keeps costs down. In most states, the law says that you are entitled to receive a free copy of your medical records for the purposes of medical care. If a client does not collect these records and medical records are necessary to prove their case the cost falls on your representative to acquire your records.. The cost for medical records can be ridiculous. We do everything we can to fight the charges, but the last thing we want to have to do is pass this cost back to our clients. It is critical as a claimant to be proactive and get any new records if you are waiting for a hearing. The last thing we want is to pass along a cost to a person who rarely can afford it. Work with your disability attorney and get those records! Keep in mind that if we need to pay for medical records to prove your case, and you lose your case, you DO NOT owe us for medical records. We eat the cost if your case is unsuccessful.

Disagree with the Attorney Cost?

If your application for benefits is approved and you feel like your attorney didn’t do much on your case, you can file a grievance against your Social Security Disability attorney/advocate. Be careful when making this argument. Attorneys like most people like money and will do the work necessary to get a client approved. Many times during a claim a client will complain because they feel their attorney is doing nothing. Sometimes, this is true however many times the attorney is working the claim and does not communicate every little detail. Many attorneys feel that they were hired to relieve the burden of dealing with Social Security and the issues that come up during a claim. Why don’t they always communicate the issues? They know how to fix them, and they know they sound a lot worse in a client’s mind than they really are. If you feel like you made the right choice in your disability representation, give your attorney the benefit of the doubt.

At Alliance Disability, the Social Security Disability Attorney Cost Is 25% of Backpay Benefits

Can My Disability Attorney Stop Work on My Claim?

Fee Agreements often have clauses that allow attorneys to drop a client and a client to fire an attorney with little reason.

Ask a Disability Attorney


Q:  My friend recently received a letter from his disability attorney saying they were no longer working on his disability claim. Can they do this? Why?

Age 45, Office Manager

A Social Security Disability attorney can usually be fired from a claim. Check your fee agreement to see if anything is laid out.

Clients and Social Security DIsability Attorneys can usually part ways.

A:  Unfortunately, there are times when an attorney has to let a client go. In most cases, there is nothing that prevents a disability attorney from dropping a client. The one exception is that if the case is scheduled for a hearing.  Losing the client would result in the client being unable to retain a new attorney prior to the hearing, then likely the attorney will not be permitted to withdraw from the case.When a disability attorney withdraws from your case, they may also ask Social Security for the right to be paid for work they did on your case. The withdrawing attorney may submit a petition to Social Security outlining the work they performed on your case and ask social security what amount they can collect. If approved, the money will be collected from your back pay.If your attorney drops your case, don’t give up! Always seek an opinion from another attorney. Different attorneys have different experiences and while some might not see a path to winning your case, others may. You may also want to ask your attorney why your case was dropped, often it’s because of a simple misunderstanding that can be worked out. Either way, don’t make the mistake of going without an attorney. Attorneys know the ins and outs of disability law. Don’t let one bad experience with an attorney scare you away; there are plenty of competent attorneys that would be glad to take your case.

It is Common to See a Clause in a Contract the Allow Attorneys and Clients to Fire Each Other.

Social Security Disability Attorneys can stop work on a claim for almost any reason.

Reasons for dropping a case can vary.  The most common reason is that a client has just become too much to handle.  I always do my best to manage expectations with my clients and teach them to understand that there are no guarantees and that there will be a lot of times where it seems like I am doing nothing.  Sometimes in a Social Security claim there is a lot of waiting.  That is the nature of the beast, and there is not anything that can be done.  If a client starts to become time-consuming and not responding reasonably to my explanation of their current claim, I will have to consider dropping them.  I can’t spend half my week dealing with one client when that client has nothing to deal that should have been explained with one phone call.   Also, I always want my clients to understand that most of the time when there are bumps in the road for their claim that are easily fixed, and I won’t update them on these hiccups.  I don’t need to stress my client out over things that are simple fixes.  They may not seem like simple fixes to my client because they haven’t worked in thousands of disability claims, and I understand that.  One of the biggest reasons  I am hired is to make the disability process as stress-free as I can and to give my clients the best shot possible.  90% of the time all I need from a client is to continue treating with their doctors and the other 10%  I will contact them.  Now, this isn’t to say that I discourage any client from contacting me and asking about their claim.  Open lines of communication are necessary.  I just don’t need a ‘girlfriend’ who calls and texts 150 times a day minutes asking me what I am doing.

Another reason people get dropped often is that the claim just was not what the attorney thought it was.  It is always best to be upfront during the initial interview with any law firm.  I have seen in personal injury, employment, Social Security, Bankruptcy cases where clients elaborated or downright made up details about their cases.  If you are not honest about the details of your case, an attorney will probably drop you.  These details are what get evaluated when deciding whether to take on a potential claim.  Just because you signed a contract doesn’t not mean anyone has any obligation to each other.  I guarantee the contract you signed has a clause stating the attorney and the client can walk away at any point for any reason.  If it doesn’t, you may not have the most competent attorney.

By all means, I am not saying your friend was dropped for any of these reasons.  These are just the two most common reasons.  If a person has a legit claim and has reasonable expectations, then they have the potential to make money for an attorney.  We like to get paid and will not usually drop claims that are worth our time.

A Social Security Disability attorney usually can stop work on a clients disability claim for little to no reason.


Common Disability Hearing Mistakes

Common Mistakes made at hearing by Social Security Disability Applications.
Don’t make these two mistakes at your disability hearing

The chances are that if scheduled for a Social Security Disability hearing, you’ve been waiting for a long time. The average wait time, until the hearing itself, is around 12-18 months. After that long wait, you want to make the most of it so make sure you go prepared. This article highlights two important things that you should do…one before your hearing and the other during the hearing.

First, before your Social Security Disability hearing, you should always review what evidence has accumulated in your disability case. When scheduled for a hearing, the Social Security hearing office assigned to your case will send you an electronic copy of your file contained on a CD. It’s your responsibility to review the evidence and make sure that the medical records contained in your file are current and complete. If you don’t have access to a computer, you’re welcome to contact the Social Security disability hearing office. Set up a time to view the evidence file at that office in advance of the disability hearing. One of the most common mistakes that people make; they assume that the Social Security hearing office will take care of getting all of the evidence together. There’s a rational basis for believing that Social Security will do all the work. After all, at the lower levels of the process it is Social Security’s responsibility to build your case and establish whether you’re disabled. The responsibility changes when you request a hearing. At the hearing level, the burden of proving your case shifts from Social Security to you. Don’t make the mistake of walking into your hearing and expecting all of your medical records to be there because they won’t be. As mentioned above, you should review the evidence in your file the moment your hearing is scheduled. When considering the evidence, make sure to check the dates on the medical records that are in your file. Often, you’ll see medical records from your doctors in your file, but if you look you’ll see that the documents received anywhere from six to eighteen months ago, if not longer. Any new developments with your conditions won’t be available for the judge to see. Step one is always to review the dates of the medical records already in your file and request updated records from your medical providers. When you get the records, you should immediately submit them to the Social Security hearing office; don’t wait to take the medical records on the day of the hearing. In addition to reviewing dates on medical records already contained in your file, you should review for missing medical records. If you’ve seen five different doctors and your hearing file only has three, obviously there’s a problem. Request and submit any missing medical records as soon as possible.

Showing Up Without Complete Records Is A Disability Hearing Mistake
When your hearing is scheduled, make sure to review all the medical evidence in your file and ensure that it is complete. If records are missing, request them and get them to the Social Security Disability hearing office before your hearing. Showing up without complete medical records is a disability hearing mistake you can’t afford to make.

One of the most common hearing mistakes made by claimants without attorneys is that they spend too much time telling the judge about their conditions and not enough time telling the judge about their limitations. Contrary to popular belief, Social Security Disability doesn’t get awarded to those with disabilities; it gets approved to those who have occupational limitations that come from their disabilities. In all reality, Social Security doesn’t care much about your medical condition. Medical conditions are only a piece of the puzzle. The diagnosis doesn’t matter much as how does it prevent you from working? When you’re in your hearing, don’t waste time telling the judge about COPD diagnosis procedures and what it is. The judge doesn’t care about COPD and how it affects people, the judge cares about how the condition affects your ability to work! What limitations do you have as a result of your medical condition? Is it difficult to breathe? Do you get shortness of breath with physical activity? Are you prevented from standing or walking for extended periods of time? Do the medications you take have side effects that would prevent you from being able to work? These are the types of questions that the judge wants to be answered. Tell the judge what you can’t do as a result of your condition, not about your condition. If you focus on limitations rather than conditions, you’ll be speaking the same language as the judge in your case.

Remember to review your evidence file in advance of the hearing and get any new medical records submitted in advance of the hearing. When you’re at your hearing, the administrative law judge speaks the language of limitations, not conditions. So be prepared to tell the judge about what you’re unable to do as a result of your conditions.

Talking About Only Your Conditions Is a Disability Hearing Mistake
It would be a major disability hearing mistake to talk only about your conditions at your hearing. Social Security wants to know about your limitations more than your conditions. Limitations tell Social Security what, if any, jobs you might be able to do.

Social Security Disability Hearing Advice

Social Security Disability Hearing Advoce from an Alliance Disability Attorney

Social Security Disability Judges Prefer Experience in Hearings
Social Security Disability Hearing Advice


Get Representation and This is Why…

Hiring an attorney to help with your disability hearing brings several advantages. An attorney is an expert in disability law, they know the ins and outs and the potential pitfalls. An attorney has likely helped people with your exact same condition and limitations to get approved. That being said, one of the least talked about, but most important things that an attorney brings to your hearing is his or her knowledge of the judge assigned to your case.

I realize that this is America, where the rule of law reigns supreme. For the most part it does, however, Judges are people; they’re not perfect and there are things that they want to know or see in order to be convinced of your disability. In saying this, I’m in no way saying that disability judges do whatever they want. They are all trained attorneys and know and apply the law well, but many times knowing how to present the case to a judge is what makes all the difference.

For example, knowing the background of a judge can make a big difference in the outcome of a case. One judge that we’ve worked with was a special prosecutor against narcotic crimes for twenty-years. In every case where a claimant for disability had a history of any abuse he would dig into them over their substance abuse history. It came to the point that whenever we had a client assigned to that judge we would always make sure that the client started to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings, even if they had stopped any abuse years ago, because that’s what the judge wanted to see.

Another judge we worked with was the type that would always talk himself into approving a case; literally. Our strategy with this judge was to let him do the talking and only speak when spoken to. If someone were to go into a hearing with that particular judge and start rattling off their problems, they’d probably hurt their chances more than anything else.

When a judge knows the attorney, they’re willing to talk to them about a case. Often times if the judge and attorney are familiar with each other, the judge will call the attorney in before the disability hearing and discuss the case. The judge will tell the attorney what needs to be shown to win the case, they’ll tell the attorney what weaknesses they see. As you can probably imagine, knowing your target before going into the hearing can make a significant difference. Sometimes a judge will tell an attorney that the case isn’t quite strong enough yet and let the attorney know what needs to be there before the case can be approved; this can lead postponing the hearing so that the needed evidence can be gathered. This simple familiarity between judges and attorneys can work miracles in your case. If you don’t know the judge, you may not get this same information.

Every judge has little things that they want to see, and there is a right and wrong way to approach every judge. Experienced attorneys know this. An experienced attorney knows your judge and knows what that judge wants to see. At Alliance Disability, we craft our hearing strategy around the judge assigned to your case. We know the judges and we know what they want to see and we work with you to make sure that the evidence that judge wants to see is obtained.
Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Handling Applications, Denial, Appeals, and Hearings Nationwide.


Free Social Security Disability Phone Consultation

Free Social Security Disability Phone Consultations, Call (480)-442-0086
Free Social Security Disability Phone Consultation

Free Social Security Disability Phone Consultation

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Phone Consultation for Nationwide Attorney Representation
for Applications, Appealing Denial Letters and Hearings with an Administrative Law Judge.

Call us for a Free Social Security Disability Phone Consultation. Why wait? Social Security Disability applications take time and effort. The sooner you start the process the sooner you will get an answer. Give us a call regarding your legal representation at (480) 442-0086 we’re prepared to talk. All Social Security Disability consultations are free, and there’s never any obligation to use our services. To complete a Social Security Disability consultation with one of our Social Security Disability attorneys, you don’t need to prepare and get your medical records ready; the information we need to complete a thorough phone consultation is in your head. We will always let you know during your first call whether we can represent your Social Security Disability application. Typically the consultation takes 10 to 20 minutes and focuses on basic information about your medical conditions, and your past work. If you are concerned about paying for an attorney keep three things in mind.

  • 1. All attorneys nationwide are paid out of the back pay awarded by Social Security. The average attorney fee in 2014 was abour $2850.
  • Any future monthly payments after a successful applications goes entirely to the applicant. Attorneys can not make any money on future payments.
  • You only pay a Social Security Disability attorney if they are successful at getting your benefits approved.
Give us a call for a free social security disability phone consultation.

The Social Security Administration is not in the business of making sure you get the best shot for your disability claim. If they were, we would be out of business. Let our knowledge and experience in dealing with disability claims go to work for you and ensure that Social Security gives you the best shot possible at winning your disability claim. Give us a call for your free Social Security Disability phone consultation today.

Appealing a Denied Social Security Application

You and 70% of everyone who applies. It’s far from the end of the world and it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to get the benefits that you need. Many of those who are denied benefits initially go on to be approved after appealing their cases. So what can you do to ensure you appeal your application the right way?

Your application forBenefits has been denied?

Social Security Disability and Back Injuries

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Attorneys

Social Security Disability and back injuries are not strangers to each other. Back injuries are among the most common reasons that people apply. In 2012, 2,926,482 recipients of Social Security Disability were collecting benefits due to musculoskeletal system and connective tissue injuries. This makes up for about 1/4 of the applications for Social Security Disability and back injuries make up the majority of these claims. There’s no doubt that a serious back injury can significantly limit your ability to work. There are three major ways to win your Social Security Disability claim based on a back injury. There are other ways, but this article focuses only on these three:

1. Social Security Disability for Back Injuries, Listing 1.04

Social Security “listings” are a compiled document of conditions and symptoms where if you have the condition and have the required symptoms, you will win your case. These compiled documents are often referred to as the “Blue Book.” Back injuries are evaluated under listing 1.04. Under that listing you must first be diagnosed with a spinal injury or condition and then have medical records with the following findings:
1. Spinal arachnoiditis, confirmed by an operative note or pathology report of tissue biopsy, or by appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by severe burning or painful dysesthesia, resulting in the need for changes in position or posture more than once every 2 hours; or
2. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively
3. Lumbar spinal stenosis resulting in pseudoclaudication, established by findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging, manifested by chronic nonradicular pain and weakness, and resulting in inability to ambulate effectively
Disability Evaluation Under Social Security 1.00 Musculoskeletal System – Adult (See “1.00 Musculoskeletal System – Adult”)
These terms are difficult to understand, and this isn’t the place to break them down, however, we highly recommend that you print of the listing and take it to your next doctor’s appointment. Show the listing to your doctor and ask them to be sure to document the findings required by the listing. Countless times we’ve represented clients whose back injuries would meet a listing, however, their doctor failed to document their symptoms in the medical records. Don’t let your doctor short change you; take them a copy of the listing and make sure they record what the listing is asking for. You can print a copy of the listing by clicking here.

2. Less than Sedentary Ability

Many disability cases come down to being able to prove that, as a result of your back injury, you are unable to perform even a sedentary job. A sedentary job is a sitting job such as an office job.
Essentially you must prove to Social Security Disability that your back injury is so severe that you can’t sit all day. This isn’t easy to do, but it is possible. The best way to establish your less than sedentary ability to by having your doctor complete a “residual functional capacity” assessment. This assessment asks your doctor to state your physical abilities and limitations. For example the assessment may ask your doctor to state how many hours in an 8 hour work day that you’re able to sit, stand or walk. It may ask the doctor to state how many hours you may be off task in a work setting as a result of pain that you experience from your condition. These assessments break down your abilities in a way that Social Security can understand. A simple version of this assessment can be found by clicking here.

3. Over Age 50 Back Injuries

When you’re over age 50, different laws apply to your disability case. When you’re over age 50 you basically just have to show that you’re unable to return to do your past work, whereas if you’re under age 50 you have to show that you can’t do your past work or any other work. For example if you’re age 50+ and you were a cashier for 20 years, and your back injury prevents you from standing 6-8 hours a day, you’d have a good shot of winning your case. When you’re over age 50 your back condition doesn’t have to be so severe that it’s completely disabling, it just has to be severe enough to prevent you from doing work that you’ve previously done. The best way to establish that you can’t perform your past work is by having your doctor complete the residual functional capacity form discussed above. A copy of the assessment can be found by clicking here.

 
 

Disability Advice: Common Mistakes in Disability Claims

Social Security Disability Common MIstakes m

 

Social Security Disability Advice


Disability Advice: Common Mistakes We See Made With Disability Claims Handled Without Representation


Giving disability advice to a person who has never dealt with the Social Security Administration can be a bit daunting.  It takes years to learn the ins and out of the system and there are so many directions an application can move.  However, the most common mistakes we see made when applying for Social Security Disability are not completing an application thoroughly, not applying for the correct program, and not submitting a complete medical history.  The burden of proof in your disability claim rests on your shoulders.  If you don’t do what is expected you could be hurting yourself and missing a fair shot at approval.  You want to give Social Security Disability the entire picture.  If they ask for information don’t give them half of what they request.  Social Security doesn’t have access to your current medical records, in fact, they have very little access to any of the information they request during an application.  You need to paint a picture of your disability claim and why you are unable to work.

Social Security Disability Alliance Disability

It is not uncommon for clients to come to us with denial letters regarding a previous Social Security disability claim.  We often find that these previous applications are denied because the person did not complete the proper legwork to complete an application appropriately and thoroughly.  The two biggest mistakes that we see on Social Security Disability applications are incomplete information and an incomplete medical history.  Filling out an application completely and carefully will give you a better shot at approval.  When filling out an application, you can do it online by yourself, with someone from Social Security in person or over the phone. The best thing you can do for your claim is to find a Social Security disability attorney that will help you with the application process.  Many firms make potential clients apply on their own before becoming a taking over their claim.  Our philosophy is different; we have found it’s better to apply with our clients rather than cutting them loose and having them fill out the Social Security disability application on their own.

Disability Advice

There are two disability programs that are offered by the Social Security Administration:  Disability insurance benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Disability insurance benefits are based on work credits and eligibility for the program depends on you having worked and paid into the system. Generally if you’re having FICA taxes withheld, you’re paying into the Social Security disability system. Typically it takes five years of paying this tax to be eligible for the program and takes another five years of not working or not paying this tax to lose eligibility.  Supplemental Security Income is based on household income.  Social Security will evaluate all income in a home.  Typically this includes any income or resources that an applicant may have as well as income and resources of that person’s spouse if they are married.  This income can include earned income and unearned income.  Earned income is typically any income that comes from employment.  Unearned income could be from a pension, 401k, stocks, anything that is not from payroll. Social security does have an online tool that can help distinguish which programs that you meet qualifications.  You can also create an account at SocialSecurity.gov that will show you your earnings statements and if you have earned Disability Insurance Benefits.

Social Security Disability Alliance Disability

Another common mistake that we see is not getting a complete medical history to Social Security.  It is very important during the application process that you list all doctors, hospitals, and clinics where you have received medical assistance.  Social Security will request your records from your doctors, however, they do not have access to your medical information.  It is very important that you tell social security disability where to get your records.  If you do not tell them they will not know where to submit a request. When you complete your application make sure you have the names, addresses, phone numbers, and that dates you saw these doctors so social security disability can request the proper records. You will also be asked to provide what these doctors treated you for, what conditions they diagnosed you with, and what medications they have prescribed for your conditions.

Remember, the burden of proof in your Social Security disability claim is on you.  Don’t rely on Social Security to prove your case for you because they won’t. Social Security will do the least amount of work they can on your case, so make sure that you provide them with everything that they need to approve your Social Security disability claim.

Social Security Disability Alliance Disability

Disability Advice Social Security Disability Common Mistakes

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Attorneys handling Applications, Denials and Appeals, Hearings for disability claims.

Social Security Disability Applications, Continued Employment

SOcial Security Disability Applications and Working can be tough but doable.

Applying for Social Security Disability and Continuing to Work

Working while Disabled


Can you apply for Social Security Disability and still work?  Yes, you can but there are guidelines. Read more about the guidelines set by the Social Security Administration.  They do not allow for much wiggle room.  However, the ability to bring in some income is better than none.

The Guidelines for Applying for Social Security Disability While Working

https://www.alliancedisability.com/social-security-disability-attorneys/applications/working-and-applying-for-disability/and Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration regulates the amount you can make while working and applying for disability.


1.Substantial Gain Activity


If you are working and making over what is called Substantial Gainful Activity you will not be considered disabled under Social Security Disability rules.  If you have no arms, no legs, and no head but somehow made over this amount you will NEVER be considered disabled under Social Security’s rules.  The amount allowed by Social Security is currently $1090 a month before taxes.  Some law firms will not consider representing a claim if they are working and making under this amount.  Social Security allows you to earn limited income and we understand the difficulty of applying and waiting for a decision with no income.  We do not consider a potential client earning under the allowed amount to be an issue.  If you plan on applying and want to find representation we strongly suggest asking any firm you talk to about how they feel regarding working while making under $1090 and representing you as a client.  We file successful claims with clients who are working and abide by these rules on a regular basis.  As long as you play by the rules set by Social Security regarding working as a disabled claimant there is no issue.

Work within your abilities when applying for Social Security Disability and employed


2. Unsuccessful Work Attempt


If you apply and find a job Social Security will not immediately toss your application in the trash.  You are given 90 days to see if you are able to successfully transition into your new employment.  If you are able to continue this job after 90 days your application will be closed out.  However, your application continues to move forward as you attempt to work and will not be closed out if you do not reach the 90 day period because of your disability.  It is important to notify Social Security and any  Representative assisting your claim about your attempt to work during the application process.  During this time you can make over Substantial Gainful Activity.  If you do make over this amount and are not able to keep your employment it will affect your backpay if approved.

Follow the rules when working and applying for Social Security Disability and your application will be safe.


3.  Work Within Your Abilities


If you are filing a claim for disability for a bad back do not find a job running a jackhammer.  The work you find should be consistent with your disability.  Social Security is not for lazy folks that are trying to skirt the system.  Social Security Disability is not easy to get on.  If it was we would be out of business.  If you find work and you are seeking disability do work that is not contradictory to your claim.  Remember, you are telling the Social Security Administration that you are not able to work and make over Substantial Gainful Activity.

So remember it is OK to work if you make under the amount allowed by Social Security, work within your abilities.  If you find a job you that makes over the allotted amount you can are given a 90 day trial period.  If you are able to work that job on a regular basis and feel comfortable continuing your application is closed out and there is no penalty.  Social Security would prefer you work and if you have legal representation you would owe them nothing.

The people we deal with on a daily basis want to work and often it takes them months and even years to come to the decision that enough is enough.  They play hurt often making their conditions worse, but that is understandable.  Bills do not pay themselves, food is not free, and there is can be a sense of validation in working.  We understand where they are coming from because we would do the same thing.

Applying for Social Security Disability and Continuing to Work

Applying for Social Security Disability and Continuing to Work Is Possible if you Follow The Rules

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Attorneys handling Applications, Denials and Appeals, Hearings for disability claims.