What You Should Know About Filing For Social Security Disability Benefits

Posted on: 2 September 2015


Sometimes, you just need a helping hand because a disability prevents you from working. Luckily, Social Security disability benefits are an option for many disabled citizens. If you are considering filing for Social Security, check out these must-know facts.

Initial Applications Are Often Denied

To apply for disability, you'll need to fill out an application and submit any documents pertaining to your disability. When your application is received, all the information is verified, including your personal information (name, age, marital status, etc.) and information about your disability. If everything is in order, your claim is approved. Unfortunately, about 65 percent of initial claims are denied and 85 percent of first appeals are denied.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help With a Hearing

Because disability claims are so often denied, it's helpful to hire a social security disability attorney who understands the workings of Social Security. Even if you filed your initial application without an attorney, get one for the appeal hearing. Not only will your attorney know what general information is needed to win Social Security cases, but the attorney will also know what information specific to your disability will help.  

A Disability Lawyer Only Gets Paid if You Do

The great thing about a disability lawyer is that you only have to pay if you win your case. Typically, the lawyer's fee will be 25 percent of your backpay. However, there is a cap of $6,000, so even if your back pay totals $30,000, you'll only pay $6,000 instead of $7,500. The backpay is a lump sum you'll receive before you start getting your monthly payments. It is the total amount owed to you from the onset of your disability through winning your case.

SSDI and SSI Are Available

There are two different types of disability benefits available through Social Security. Social Security Disability insurance or SSDI has two requirements. You must have a qualified disability, and you must have earned enough work credits with Social Security. On average, SSDI payments are $1,000 to $1,200 a month. Supplemental Security Income or SSI doesn't require that you've earned enough work credits, but you must have a low monthly income.

You Have to Report Any Changes in Your Income

When you are getting Social Security benefits, you can earn some money via a job. However, you must report every change in your income to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Basically, any money or assistance you receive, you must tell to SSA. Even if someone buys you groceries or helps with your rent, you need to notify SSA because it may affect your payments. If you get food stamps, however, you don't typically have to report that to SSA. Whether you report changes or not, the SSA can routinely review your case to determine if you are still disabled and require the same benefits.

Social Security Can Help You Get Back to Work

If you feel like your disability is improving, and you want to try working again, Social Security offers help via the Ticket to Work program. This program helps get you ready to find a job by providing free employment services. While participating in the program, your case won't be subject to routine reviews. It's a safe way to test the waters and see if you can return to work without disrupting your benefits.

Disability benefits are a miracle for many citizens who can't work due to a disability. The process may be complicated and confusing, so it is best to get help from a skilled attorney. For more information about applying for Social Security disability benefits, contact a disability attorney in your area today.