Social Security Disability Claims
Social Security Disability Claims

1. What is Definition of Disability?

Under the federal Social Security Disability Act, "disability" means the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."

Social Security Disability benefits (SSD)

Are benefits paid to individuals who have worked in the recent years. Usually you have to work 5 out of the last 10 years. For individuals under 31 years old, the requirements are a little different since they have not been in the work force as long. The amount of your SSD income benefit is based on your reported earnings from work over the period of your work history. When you are proven disabled and eligible to receive SSD benefits, the is a 24 month waiting period before you become eligible for Medicare coverage.

Supplemental Security Income benefits (SSI)

Are paid to individuals who are low income individuals/families and disabled whether or not the individual has worked in the past. SSI child's disability benefits are paid to children who are less than 18 years old, are disabled and the parents or guardian are of lower income. SSI comes with Medicaid in the state of Texas to cover medical costs and help with the claimant's medications.

2. Who is eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you work long enough at a job which is covered under the provisions of the Social Security Act, and become disabled, you are probably eligible for disability benefits.

According to the Social Security Administration, a "Disability" can be physical, or emotional, or some combination of both. In order to win benefits, you must have a disability severe enough to keep you from working in any regular paying job for at least 12 consecutive months.

The test for eligibility is not whether you can go back to a job you've lost. Nor is it whether you've been able to find a job recently. The test is whether you are physically and emotionally CAPABLE of doing a job that is generally available in the every day work place.

Furthermore, to obtain Social Security Disability benefits, you must have a doctor state that you are disabled "by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory findings". Unfortunately, many genuinely disabling conditions are difficult to diagnose by objective testing. In cases like that, it's up to your representative or legal help to present your doctor's reports properly, and to convince the government that you deserve your benefits.

3. How can I apply or submit a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or SSI?

By law, anyone may file for his or her own Social Security Disability benefits. But statistics clearly show that claimants who have representation win their benefits much more often than those who apply on their own.

The government makes the process very difficult. Waiting lines are long. Forms are complicated. Benefits are often denied to people who have legitimate claims, and not just once; frequently twice. Sometimes three or more times. As a result, many people who apply on their own become discouraged and intimidated. So they simply back off, give up, and go away, even when they are genuinely entitled to their benefits.

4. If I am awarded Social Security Disability and/or SSI How much money will I receive?

That's determined by how much money you made when you worked.

5. If I become disabled, how long do I have to wait to apply for Social Security Disability and or SSI?

If your disability is expected to last for at least a year you should apply for your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits immediately. Many people make the mistake of waiting months and some even years after becoming disabled before filing a Social Security disability claim.

6. Can I work at all and receive Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

You can work at a much-reduced schedule.

7. What about my family? Are they entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?

Generally dependent children under 18, and those who still attend high school are entitled to social security disability benefits.

8. I have been awarded Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, but I can't live on the amount I get from my Social Security Disability Insurance and/or SSI benefits. Can I get more money from Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?

Possibly, if your monthly rate is below the federal poverty line.

9. How long will my Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits be paid to me?

Until you are no longer disabled or you return to work.

10. I am a mother taking care of my kids and I use to be employed. I have become disabled, can I get Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and/or SSI?

If you were employed five out of the last 10 years under Social Security before becoming disabled, you will have enough earnings in to potentially qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you are 31 years of age or less, the requirements are not the same, since such individuals have not had such a long time to work. Unless a person has been staying home and taking care of their children for quite a long time, however, it is very possible that they will qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits based upon their own earnings. Also a homemaker, if poor enough, can qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) whether he or she has worked in the past or not.

If you are unable to work and meet the definition of "disabled", please call our office to schedule an appointment for representation.

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Social Security Disability Specialists
Russell W. Brown
Disability Claims Representative
P.O. Box 132960
Tyler, TX 75713-2960

Dallas Area:  214-247-6027