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Filing for Social Security Benefits is a complicated and lengthy process. As of August 2009, the average claim lasted 441 days before it was resolved. That is one of the reasons why it is important to get your claim started today. The following is a list of the different levels in the claim process
Bemis, Roach and Reed accepts cases at all stages of the claims process. If you have been denied, it is extremely important that you seek help quickly. In general, you have only 60 days to make your appeal. To discuss filing an initial application or to appeal an adverse decision, contact Texas Social Security Lawyer, Greg Reed at (512) 454-4000.
The Social Security Administration uses a five step process for determining whether a claimant meets the definition of "disabled."
Most clients do not have access to the information needed to determine whether they are "disabled" according to Social Security guidelines. Bemis, Roach and Reed has assisted clients in obtaining disability benefits for many years. Let us put our experience to work for you. For a free consultation to discuss your Social Security Disability claim, contact Texas Social Security Disability Lawyer, Greg Reed at (512) 454-4000.
How Much Will I Receive in Social Security Disability Benefits?
Your SSDI benefit level depends on your average lifetime earnings. The Social Security Administration sends a statement to wage earners. The statement includes estimates for retirement benefits, disability benefits, as survivors benefits. If you have not received a recent statement or would like to request an updated statement, please click on the attached pdf. You can then complete the form and send it to the Social Security Administration. A statement will be sent to you.
CAUTION - If you are receiving certain other benefits, your Social Security Disability benefit could decrease. For example workers compensation benefits and certain government pensions reduce the benefit.
When Do My Benefits Begin?
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must have a serious health condition which is expected to last more than 12 months or which is expected to result in death. If you meet the qualifications, your benefit will commence in the 6th full month after your disability. For example, if the Social Security Administration determines that your disability began on January 1, your first benefit check will be due on July 1.
Will I Receive Back Benefits?
Case Example 1 -
Claimant became disabled on January 1, 2006. A claim is filed with the Social Security Administration for SSDI benefits on July 1, 2008. SSA finds in favor of the claimant on February 1, 2009. Total back benefits are 19 months worth of benefits.
Case Example 2 -
Claimant became disabled on January 1, 2006. A claim is filed with the Social Security Administration for SSDI benefits on January 15, 2006. SSA finds in favor of the claimant on August 1, 2006. Total back benefits equal 1 month.
It gets complicated but here are the basic rules. Social Security will only go back 12 months from the application date even if you were disabled years ago. So in Case Example 1, benefits would only be paid beginning July 1, 2007 even though the disability began on January 1, 2006.
Social Security does not pay during the first five months of the disability. So in Case Example 2, the only back benefit check would be for the month of July 2006.
The two case examples are for SSDI claimants. If you file for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security Administration will not pay any benefits prior to the application date.
Am I Eligible for Medicare?
Claimants are eligible for Medicare if they have been receiving disability benefits for 24 months. Remember, you must be disabled for 5 months before you are eligible for your first benefit check.
Mr. Reed accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that there will be NO attorney fee unless there is a recovery on the client's behalf. Generally, the attorney is paid a portion of the back benefits due to the client. The payment is made directly from the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration sets the attorney fee by both the maximum percentage allowed and by the maximum fee allowed. An attorney can charge no more than 25% of the back benefit amount and the fee stops at $6,000.00. So for example, if the back benefit amount due to the client is $30,000.00, the attorney fee is capped at $6,000.00 even though a 25% fee would equal $7,500.00.