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Social Security Disability | Orlando Attorney
How long does it take to get my social security benefits?
When should I apply for benefits?
What does it cost to retain an attorney?
Can I work and still claim social security disability?
What is the difference between SSI and regular disability?
I filed for Social Security disability before but never appealed?
Do I qualify if I am partially disabled?
What happens at my disability hearing?
Who determines whether I am disabled?
When will I receive my disability benefits?
What happens if I lose my hearing?




How long does it take to get my social security benefits?

If your benefits are denied, it can be a lengthy process, taking up to two years. The initial application and reconsideration can take 6 to 8 months. Currently, in Orlando, it takes 15 months to have a hearing scheduled.

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When should I apply for benefits?

Since it is a lengthy process, you should file as soon as you are unable to work due to disability. At the onset of your disability, you do not know how long you will be out of work. I advise clients to file and hope they can recover and return to work, but if not, you will be glad you started the process sooner rather than later. Also, you may lose your eligibility for benefits if you delay filing your claim.

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What does it cost to retain an attorney?

The fees are contingent upon you winning your case. The standard fee agreement is 25% of your retroactive benefits or $5,300, whichever is less.

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Can I work and still claim social security disability?

No. To be eligible for benefits, you must not be working. However, sometimes part-time or unsuccessful work attempts will not count if they do not qualify as substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA is determined by how much money you make on a monthly basis.

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What is the difference between SSI and regular disability?

Regular disability is based upon your earnings record and what you have paid to Social Security. To be eligible for regular disability, you must have worked at least 10 years and at least 5 out of the last 10 years. SSI is Supplemental Security Income which is a needs based program for individuals not eligible for regular disability.

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I filed for Social Security disability before but never appealed?

Sometimes these older cases can be reopened and it is important to let your attorney and Social Security know that you filed a previous case.

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Do I qualify if I am partially disabled?

Social Security disability is total disability that would prevent you from working at least one year or more. You do not receive benefits for partial disability.

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What happens at my disability hearing?

The disability hearing is an informal hearing. Normally you will sit directly across from the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) considering your case. Either the ALJ or your attorney, or both, will ask you a series of questions intended to develop a record of your case and ultimately determine your disability. Shortly after the hearing, the ALJ will issue a written decision of the findings in your case.

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Who determines whether I am disabled?

Your initial application and reconsideration are evaluated by the Division of Disability Determination, which is part of the State of Florida Department of Health. At the hearing level, your case is determined by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If necessary, the ALJ will have medical and vocational experts testify regarding your disability.

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When will I receive my disability benefits?

From the onset date of your disability, there is a five month waiting period before you are paid benefits. You may be eligible for SSI during the five month waiting period.

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What happens if I lose my hearing?

You still have the right to appeal to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can either approve your case outright or remand it to the hearing level for further consideration. If you are denied at by the Appeals Council, you can then file in Federal District Court.

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