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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?

It may seem simple to apply online for Social Security disability benefits—the tricky part is getting approved. An SSA Annual Report revealed that, on average, a slim 36 percent of claims filed from 2004 through 2013 were successful.

Follow some guidelines in order to increase your chances of approval:

  • Apply as soon as you become disabled.
  • Stay on top of your application. Most of the responsibility for meeting deadlines and requirements falls on you.
  • Be meticulous in your medical, personal, and work-related documentation.
  • Know the rules about income collection during the application process.
  • Be aware that your Social Security disability benefits may affect any other benefits you may be receiving, such as workers’ compensation or unemployment.
  • In the likely event that your claim is denied, request an appeal quickly.

Successfully applying for Social Security disability benefits is not as easy as it sounds. Do not hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan if you need assistance navigating the process.

I haven’t worked for years and have been staying home taking care of my children. Now that I am ill, can I file a claim for Social Security disability benefits?

If you have worked in a Social Security-covered job for at least five of the last 10 years, you should be eligible for SSD benefits. If you cannot pass the work requirement tests, have not held an eligible job, or have not worked at all, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Am I required to wait a certain amount of time before I’m allowed to file for Social Security disability benefits?

You can file for Social Security disability benefits immediately after becoming disabled. If you are suffering from a serious illness or injury and predict you will be out of work for at least a year, do not hesitate to file a claim. You should not file a claim if you are suffering from a minor illness or a condition which is not expected to last more than a year.

If my disability is not permanent, can I still qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

It depends. To qualify, you must have been disabled for no less than a year, expect to be disabled for at least a year, or have knowledge of a condition which will prove fatal within a year.

I was injured at work and am receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Should I file a Social Security disability benefits claim now or hold off until my workers’ compensation case is settled?

You should file your Social Security claim as soon as possible to avoid any gap in benefits.

Can I receive workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits at the same time?

Yes, but the amount of Social Security you receive may be lowered to offset your workers’ compensation benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits first, your workers’ compensation benefits may be reduced to offset the money you are already receiving in SSD benefits.

I am disabled, but I have money in a savings account. Should I wait until I’ve emptied this account before applying for Social Security disability benefits?

The amount of money in your savings account is irrelevant if you’ve worked sometime during the past few years, or if you are applying for Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s benefits, or Disabled Adult Child benefits. Income and assets (or “resources”) are taken into account only in connection with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.

How much can I expect to receive after approval for Social Security disability benefits?

Disability insurance benefits are based on past wages and the amount of time worked. Monthly SSI disability benefits are set by federal law and are increased each January to account for a rise in the cost-of-living. Benefit calculators can help applicants estimate their potential benefit amounts. Many states supplement these amounts. Benefits generally range from $500 to $2,000 per month, and the average monthly payment is over $1,100.

I was injured in a car accident, but I will be returning to work after recovering. Does it make sense to file for Social Security disability benefits?

You should only do so if you anticipate being out of work for more than a year.

How long can I expect to wait until my Social Security benefits are approved?

It depends on whether you are approved on the date of your initial filing or if you will have to undergo the two-step appeals process. If the initial filing goes through, you only have to wait one to three months; an appeal can last anywhere from two to three years.