A: You should apply as soon as you become disabled according to Social Security. The reason being is that there are certain illnesses which can receive immediate approval.

A: While you can apply on line, it is recommended that you use a professional Disability Representative or an Attorney. The reason is that 66% of the claims made over a 10 year period were denied due to missing or incorrect information on the application and/or incorrect medical forms or information.

A: Generally, it takes about 5 months. Since Covid, the response time has been about 7 months. It takes Disability Determination Services (DDS), a state agency that makes the initial disability determination, about three to four months to decide on an initial application, from the application date.

A: You can file online by yourself. As stated previously, 66% of the claims are rejected annually. Most of the rejections are from online filers.

A: Fees are determined by the Social Security Administration. Attorneys and Disability Representatives receive 25% of the accrued benefit amount, currently up to $6,000. Beginning November 30, 2022, the maximum amount will increase to $7,200. There are no upfront fees. We only get paid if your claim is awarded. If your claim is denied, you pay nothing.

A: If your claim is denied, your claim is resubmitted for reconsideration which takes about 5 months. A different group reviews your claim. If your claim is rejected again, you can request that the claim be forwarded to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The process can take 1 to 2 years before a hearing and decision.

A: SSDI and SSI are funded differently. SSDI is technically receiving your Social Security Benefit early due to an injury or illness. SSDI is funded from the social security taxes that are deducted from your wages. You can go to “my account” on www.ssa.gov and request a copy of your earnings. The copy will indicate the amount, as of the last tax year, that you will receive at retirement. SSI is funded by the Treasury Department and was established for those individual who do not qualify for social security disability benefits. The 2022 SSI monthly benefits are $841 for an eligible individual, $1,261 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $421 for an essential person.