Have a question about SSD? Here are some of the most common questions. If you can't find your answer here, ask us anything in the text box below. We will do our best to get back to you within two days.
What qualifies me for disability?
There are hundreds on impairments that qualify someone for disability. Some of the more common conditions include degenerative disc disease, depression, anxiety, PTSD, COPD, blindness, fibromyalgia, and asthma, just to name a few. Even if you do not have one very serious impairment, a combination of several less serious impairments could be enough for you to collect disability income. To get a better idea on all the conditions that social security considers disabling, click here and review the SSD listings. Remember- just because your condition might not be as severe as the ones mentioned here it does not mean that you can’t get disability. This list is just what social security considers the severity for an automatic allowance.
How long until I get my money?
Each persons situation is different. You can get your benefits as soon as one month if you are prompt in completing the paperwork and cooperating with the disability office in their requests to complete forms and provide medical information. Having an attorney to help you with you claim could speed up the process. They know exactly what to do and can ensure that the disability office has all of the information they need as quickly as possible.
Do I have to go to the doctor?
In order to prove you disability it is important that you have supporting information from a doctor. If you are unable to afford treatment with your own physician and the disability office cannot collect enough records to make a decision they will schedule you for any exams necessary to address all of your impairments. Do not let lack of income or insurance keep you from applying!
How can I get health insurance?
Many clients who draw disability are also able to draw medicaid. If you have an attorney he will make sure that you are getting medicaid along with your disability income if you qualify. If you are approved, medicaid can also pay the bill for all of the medical treatment that you required while your claim was pending! Make sure to ask your attorney or the medicaid office about your options.
How can I pay my bills while I wait for my disability to start?
There are several options to making sure your bills are paid while you wait for your benefits to start. Part time jobs, workman’s compensation income, retirement, spouses income, alimony, food stamps and long term disability are just a few of the ways you can make money while you wait for your disability to start. Many attorneys can also help you find financial assistance while your claim is pending.
What are my chances of getting approved?
Everyones situation is unique. At the initial and reconsideration levels there is a fairly high denial rate, so don’t be discouraged if you are denied at the beginning. Once you reach the hearing level there is a much higher chance you will be approved. If you reach this level, your back payment amount will be much higher.
It is not uncommon to be denied the first time. If you are denied at the initial level all you need to do is appeal the decision which will bring you to the reconsideration level. Here you will have the opportunity to provide the examiner with additional records and information to support your case. If you have an attorney, he will be responsible for gathering all of this for you. If you are then denied again you can appeal you the hearing level. While there may be a long wait at the hearing level, you have the best chance at being approved at this level.
Having an attorney is not required until you reach the hearing level. However having one work with you throughout the entire process well help the attorney to be familiar with you and your case and be prepared to work with you when you do reach the hearing level. The attorney know exactly what SSA is looking for and what it’s needed to approve your claim. Generally clients who do have attorneys are approved much sooner than those without. Click here to get in touch with an attorney right away.
How long can I stay on disability?
In most cases once you are on disability you will stay on until you reach retirement age. At that time you week be able to draw retirement on disability, whichever is higher. When you are first approved, the examiner will set a time frame in which your claim is to be re-evaluated. Usually this is three or seven years after you are approved. These times depend on factors such as your age and the severity of your impairment. When they review your claim you enter what is called a CDR review, or continuing disability review. When your claim is being reviewed your benefits week not stop. Unless you condition has drastically improved you will likely continue to receive your benefits.
Can I work while my claim is pending?
You are allowed to work while your claim is pending add long add you do not make over $1070 a month. That is the SGA level, or substantial gainful activity. If you make more than that, social security believes that you make too much to draw benefits.
Can my spouse work while I collect disability?
If you are applying for SSD your spouse can work and make an unlimited income. If you are applying for SSI only, your spouse can not make over $1082. If your spouse still works but makes less than $1082, your SSI benefits may be lowered.
How old do I have to be to draw disability?
You can draw disability at any age, even a newborn can draw SSI income! However to qualify as an adult you have to be at least 18 in addition to having the work credits. It is unusual for anyone under 25 to be able to draw SSD.
Can I apply for medicaid?
Yes! If you are approved for SSI you will get medicaid along with your benefits. If you are approved for SSD you may qualify for benefits. If you have a spouse with access to health insurance or have health insurance available in any other way, you may not be approved for medicaid. If you are applying for SSD, you will also need to apply for medicaid. This is done separately through your local medicaid office. Sometimes an attorney will be able to help you get this application set up. If you are approved for medicaid, it may start before you are approved for disability benefits.
How can I expedite my hearing so I don't have to wait as long as everyone else?
Unfortunately, there are very few ways to get your hearing expedited. There are situations called “Dire Need”, and if you meet the qualifications for any of these scenarios your claim will be elevated to priority status and will be scheduled before others. These situations are as follows: 1. Inability to afford medications in which your LIFE DEPENDS ON, meaning you will die if you do not take these medications. If you are in a lot of pain because you cannot afford your Lortab, this will not be considered a dire need. 2. Diagnosis of a TERMINAL ILLNESS and medical support from your physician that you are near death. 3. Homelessness or facing eviction or foreclosure. If you are kicked out of your house but live with a friend or family member, this is not considered dire need. You will need proper documentation to prove that you are going to be evicted from a landlord or a letter from your bank, mortgage holder, etc proving that your house is being foreclosed on. Generally these are the ONLY three situations in which you can have your hearing scheduled before anyone else.