FAQ: Social Security Disability

Frequently Asked Questions About SSD Claims And Benefits

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Social Security Disability claims are complex and fact-specific.The disability attorneys of Turley Redmond Rosasco & Rosasco, L.L.P., can answer your questions. We have helped thousands of people in New York, Queens and Long Island win benefits.


Do I need an attorney to handle my Social Security Disability case?

You are not required by law to hire a disability attorney. However, effective legal representation can make all the difference. Here is why...

  • You should know that statistics show you may be able to win your case at the initial application stage and get your benefits sooner with the help of an attorney.
  • Despite this, statistics show that a majority of initial applications are still turned down. If this happens in your case, you will have to appeal your denial and request a hearing before a judge. You will have to appear in court and prove your eligibility which is oftentimes an intimidating process. If handled incorrectly, it may result in denied benefits.
  • What we want you to know is that the overwhelming majority of unrepresented claimants are not even sure how to properly prepare for a hearing. You need an experienced disability lawyer by your side to carefully review, analyze and develop your case prior to your hearing in order to win the benefits you deserve.
  • Currently, the waiting time for a hearing before a judge at Social Security averages over 12 months! This unacceptable bureaucratic delay can mean the difference between you losing your house or not. Having an experienced disability lawyer handle your case may significantly speed up the process and increase your chances of winning.
  • Disability attorneys get paid ONLY IF YOU WIN. This means that they will do everything in their power to ensure that your claim has the best chance of winning.
  • There is a great deal of work involved in winning a Social Security Disability case. Your SSD attorney will keep track of all your medical records and test results, obtain detailed statements from your treating physicians, and ensure that deadlines are NOT missed. During the hearing process, your attorney will apply his or her knowledge and understanding of Social Security rules and regulations to benefit your case.
  • What's also important for you to know is that our lawyers know how particular Social Security judges work. Sometimes knowing what the judge wants and needs to approve your claim is half the battle.

The stakes are high. Don't miss out on the opportunity to get the financial rewards you and your family deserve. Call one of our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys today at 1-800-671-4927 to set up a FREE NO-OBLIGATION consultation. We look forward to discussing your case!


How does Social Security define "disability"?

Under Social Security, there is a very specific and strict definition of disability.

To qualify for disability benefits you must have a physical or mental impairment that is expected to keep you from doing any "substantial" and "gainful" work for at least 12 months, or you must have a condition that is expected to result in death.

Please keep in mind that the rules established by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are different from other plans or government programs. So, even if you qualify for disability from another organization, it does not necessarily mean that you are eligible for Social Security Disability.


Does Social Security cover partial or short-term disability?

Social Security pays only for total disability. It does not provide financial compensation for partial or short-term disability, unlike workers' compensation or veterans' disability claims.

That said, individuals who have been found only "partially disabled" under workers' compensation or VA standards may also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, depending on their age, education and prior work.

Keep in mind that even if you have a statement from your doctor indicating that you are "totally disabled," it does not necessarily mean that you will be automatically eligible for payments.

We urge you to contact one of our experienced disability attorneys to discuss the specifics of your disability case. Call today toll free at 800-671-4927 for a Free Consultation.


What types of disabilities can qualify me for Social Security Disability?

Almost any physical or mental injury ( or combination of injuries) that is severe enough to keep you out of work for 12 months, may entitle you to Social Security disability benefits.

Here are some of the most common medical conditions covered by Social Security:

  • Spinal disorders, including herniated cervical or lumbar discs, back and neck surgery, spinal stenosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, compression fractures, scoliosis
  • Mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, Bi-polar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ADHD, ADD, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder
  • Neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis, seizure disorder (epilepsy), Parkinson's disease, myasthenia gravis, brain tumor, ALS, Alzheimer's, post-Polio syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, early onset dementia
  • Heart disease, including heart attacks, angina, bypass surgery, coronary stents, congestive heart failure, enlarged heart, aneurysm, valve disease, heart transplant
  • Auto-immune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV, AIDS
  • Diabetes, obesity, neuropathy, retinopathy, thyroid diseases, peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure
  • Cancer (breast, bone, lung, abdominal, liver, pancreatic, testicular, ovarian, colon, skin -melanoma, mouth, kidney, blood, prostate, bladder, gall bladder, sarcoma)
  • Orthopedic injuries, including amputations, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, knee replacement, hip injuries, hip replacement, multiple fractures requiring surgery, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), chronic regional pain disorder (CRPD)
  • Decreased vision or hearing, vertigo, tinnitus, stuttering
  • Pulmonary Disorders, including asthma, emphysema, asbestosis, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Digestive disorders, including Crohn's disease, colitis, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, Ascites, , diverticulitis, pancreatitis, GERD
  • Kidney disease, anemia, leukemia, polycythemia, lymphoma, myeloma, Hodgkin's disease, sickle cell anemia
  • Skin disorders, including scleroderma, burns, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, melanoma, hydradenitis, skin cancer
  • Dual diagnosis mental disorders, including substance abuse, alcoholism, prescription pain medication addiction, personality disorders, mood disorders

When should I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

  • We recommend that you contact us once you have been out of work for three (3) consecutive months, or as soon as you know for sure that you will be out of work for a consecutive twelve (12) months.
  • Of course, many individuals call us BEFORE they even stop working, to get a head start and discuss their potential eligibility for SSD benefits.
  • We urge you to call one of our experienced Social Security disability lawyers today for a FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION at 800-671-4927. Don't delay and learn everything you need to know ahead of time.

How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

  • In order to speed up your application, Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, LLP has been granted permission from the Social Security Administration to complete and file your application "online" through the official Social Security Administration website.
  • The application process is long and complex. Inaccurate or incomplete information you provide in your initial application may be used against you to deny your claim.
  • That's why, it is important to give Social Security full and accurate information right from the start, so you can be approved as soon as possible. Our attorneys at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, L.L.P. will guide you through the process and help you properly complete your initial "online" application, which will tip the scales in your favor.
  • Of course, you can fill out the online application yourself or do it by phone by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If you are eventually denied, you can retain Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, L.L.P. to handle your appeal. Do not hesitate to reach out to one of your experienced attorneys at 800-671-4927. We will help you to overcome the initial setback and get the financial rewards you deserve.

How much does Social Security Disability pay?

The monthly financial compensation you or your dependents can receive is based on the amount of money you contributed to the Social Security system during your work life PRIOR to becoming disabled.

There are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • In 2013, the average Social Security Disability benefit across the United States was $1,132 per month.
  • The maximum anyone can receive is currently $2,533 per month.
  • If you have dependents, you may be eligible for an additional 50 percent benefit. For example: If you are getting $2,000 per month, you may be able to receive an additional $1,000 per month for your children.

Please note that New Yorkers can often expect more than the average amount stated above. Here is why: Typically, New York-based employees have higher salaries compared to other states, due to the high cost of living in this area, and pay more into Social Security.

Bottom Line - Employees with higher salaries or employees who have worked longer, can expect higher benefits than those with lower salaries who have not worked as long.


How long will it take to win my Social Security Disability case?

In the New York area, it typically takes anywhere between six and 18 months. Even when our attorneys are pushing the Social Security Administration to make a favorable decision as soon as possible, it usually takes SSA three to five months to make a decision. If your initial application is denied, it could take an additional 12 months before you are scheduled for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

That's why you might benefit significantly from our help. Here is how:

  • Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, L.L.P. will speed up your case by filing your claim immediately "online." Always remember: when it comes to filing for SSD benefits, time is of the essence.
  • Our office has had considerable success in shortening the appeal process and persuading judges to issue "fully favorable" decisions without a formal hearing. These are called "On the Record (OTR)" decisions that reduce the stress of appearing before a judge.
  • Oftentimes, we obtain benefits for clients' months earlier, simply by being more aggressive and proactive than other law firms and "advocates."

How long will I be able to receive SSD benefits?

You will receive Social Security Disability benefits as long as you remain disabled and unable to work, or until you become eligible for your full Social Security retirement benefit. Your disability claim will be reviewed periodically to determine if you still meet the medical standards for "disability". We will be glad to assist you with these reviews in the future.


What should I do if I am denied Social Security Disability benefits?

Don't give up! Social Security unfairly denies legitimate disability claims every day. In fact, nearly 65 percent of all initial applications are denied. However, our reversal rate for denials is over 90 percent.

We will appeal and request a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Many people who are initially denied benefits, receive financial compensation later, after filing an appeal with a lawyer. You will have a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge at Social Security's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR).

Remember: Social Security's own statistics show that you have a better chance of winning your appeal when you appear before the judge with a lawyer.

There is a lot at stake here. Call one of our experienced SSD attorneys today at 800-671-4927 for a FREE CONSULTATION.


Will my disability benefits affect my Social Security retirement benefits?

Yes - but in a good way! You will still be entitled to receive your Social Security Benefits when you retire. In fact, applying for disability benefits can insure that you receive the highest retirement benefit possible.

Here is what we need you to know:

Often, the granting of Social Security Disability benefits prevents the need for individuals to apply for reduced early retirement benefits at age 62. However, failure to establish that you are disabled if you are out of work could penalize your later retirement benefits.


Can I collect Social Security Disability, Long-Term Disability and Workers' Compensation benefits at the same time?

Yes. We suggest you want to maximize all potential sources of income when you are disabled. We can help you coordinate all these claims so you and your family get all the money you deserve. Generally, you are limited to receiving no more than 80 percent of your prior gross income when combining both workers' compensation and Social Security Disability benefits.


Will I be entitled to Medicare health insurance benefits if I get Social Security Disability benefits?

Yes. If you are found disabled and awarded Social Security disability benefits, you will qualify for Medicare 24 months after the date you became eligible for monthly disability benefits. This is another good reason to take action and apply as soon as possible. Unfortunately, your dependents will not be eligible for Medicare even if you are. They may need to seek out medical insurance through an affordable plan under the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare").


What is the legal fee in Social Security Disability cases?

Our office takes Social Security Disability cases on a contingency basis. It means that we do not get paid unless we win your case .

The Social Security Administration regulates all attorney fees. Most of the time, they approve a fee of 25 percent of any retroactive benefits.

For example: If you win your case and you are entitled to $10,000 in retroactive benefits, Social Security will deduct $2,500 from this amount as our fee and send it directly to us. You will receive a past due check for $7,500. What's important is that all future checks are free of any attorney fees.


Why should I avoid dealing with "non-attorney advocate" companies?

Many employer-sponsored long-term disability plans require you to apply for Social Security Disability. However, we don't want you to fall into the trap of using the "Social Security Advocate" company offered by the long-term disability insurance company, " at no cost to you". Keep in mind that this could NEGATIVELY affect your future potential to receive benefits.

There are a few reasons why...

  1. Please be aware that these representatives are loyal to the insurance company, not to you. Besides, they don't have the legal training needed to properly handle your case before a judge. That being said, they may charge the exact same fee that REAL ATTORNEYS charge.
  2. They are hoping to get more business in the future from insurance companies. And that's where their allegiance lies. They are not necessarily looking out for your best interests.
  3. They may share your confidential medical information with the insurance company in a way that might damage you in the future. It is similar to "hiring the fox to guard the chicken coop." Don't do it!

You are in good hands when you hire an experienced and reliable private Social Security Disability attorney, who has your best interest at heart. This way you will avoid problems in the future and get the all the benefits you are entitled to receive.

Your choice of legal representation is critical. So, call one of our experienced SSD attorneys today at 800-671-4927 for your FREE CONSULTATION. This may be your best shot at winning your case.


Why should I hire Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, L.L.P. to handle my Social Security Disability benefits case?

Our law firm has been successfully representing Social Security Disability claimants for over 24 years. We take pride in our ability to resolve some of the most challenging and complex cases and ensure that our clients get every penny they deserve.

Below are a few main reasons why you might benefit significantly from our help:

  • We have over 90 percent success rate winning Social Security Disability cases. This is important because over 60 percent of initial Social Security Disability applications are denied.
  • We have appeared before most of the Social Security Administrative Law Judges in the tri-state area. So, we know what works and we know exactly what their requirements are in order to approve your case.
  • You will be dealing with experienced, winning SSD lawyers who have a proven record of successfully fighting the Social Security Administration in the highest federal courts such as in Brown v. Commissioner of Social Security.
  • Over the course of 24 years, our attorneys have successfully represented over 8500 disabled claimants in both initial applications and appeals. Now it's YOUR turn to get the help you need and the benefits you deserve.
  • When dealing with Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco, L.L.P., your case will be carefully reviewed, evaluated and analyzed. You will have direct access to our lawyers and paralegals who will answer all your questions, address your concerns and chart a course to a winning claim.

Most important, we take the stress of filing for disability off your shoulders so you can concentrate on your health.

Call one of our experienced disability lawyers today at 1-877-NY-DBLAW for your FREE CONSULTATION. We look forward to hearing from you!