Frequently Asked Questions:
Social Security Disability
Q. I want to apply for disability, but I cannot work and do not have the resources to pay an attorney. Is it possible to get legal assistance for my claim?
A. In a Social Security Disability Claim, your attorney only gets paid if you are awarded benefits.
Q. My initial claim has been denied. Is it worth it to request a hearing?
A. When your initial claim is denied, it does not mean that you are not disabled, it only means that your claim didn’t have enough proof of disability to be approved. You should seek an attorney’s advice immediately, as there is a limited time period during which an appeal is allowed.
Q. I am disabled but I have nearly reached my early Social Security Retirement age. Should I bother applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?
A. Yes. An individual who begins to collect Social Security Retirement benefits early will collect these benefits at a reduced rate. By qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits, an individual is able to not only receive disability benefits before retirement age, but they can also delay collecting retirement benefits until they reach full retirement age. Importantly, by delaying retirement the claimant is able to collect Social Security Retirement benefits at the full rate for the rest of his or her life.
Q. I served in the military before joining the civilian workforce. I am now disabled and collecting veterans disability benefits. Can I still qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?
A. Yes. These are two separate programs, and typically there is no offset for collecting under both programs.
Q. I have applied for long term disability benefits, and my insurance company has offered to have offered “free” representation in my Social Security Disability claim. Is this true? Can I choose my own attorney?
A. Most long term disability insurance policies require the insurance company to pay for the claimant’s Social Security Disability attorney’s fee. Additionally, under almost all policies you can choose any attorney you like, and are not limited to attorneys recommended by the insurance company. (In fact, the representative recommended by your insurance company may be a ‘representative,’ not an attorney.)