Most Americans don’t learn anything about Social Security disability benefits until they have become seriously injured and are unable to return to work. Then, while already dealing with the pain of their injury, the physical and emotional stress, and juggling medical bills, they are forced to dive into the confusing world of applying for those benefits.

The attorneys at Shor & Levin, P.C. hope that by breaking down the basics of these claims those looking to explore their options will feel less stressed about the understanding potential benefits and the process of applying.

The Claim

When applicants file a Social Security Disability Benefits claim they are indicating that they are unable to work – both at their last job and any job that they may have held in the past – because of an injury or illness. This application is not a lawsuit – it is a request to obtain benefits from a system which you have been paying into your entire working life. Each time that you receive a paycheck a certain amount is withheld from what you have earned and is deposited into the Social Security Fund.

The Social Security Administration sends a report every five years starting at age 25 which includes an estimation of the benefits that will be available should they become disabled. It is important that recipients pay special attention to this statement when they receive it because mistakes can and do happen. However, these mistakes can be fixed if caught.

Potential Benefits

There are two types of Social Security Disability Benefits:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance: this insurance can provide benefits for not only the disabled applicant but also for certain family members.
  2. Social Security Income: this benefit provides money to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter for aged, blind, and disabled individuals who have no income or make very little money.

Qualifying For These Benefits

Many clients come to us and ask the question “How do I know that I’m disabled?”. To learn more about what the Social Security Administration looks at to determine if someone is eligible for disability benefits, read about the five questions social security will ask on an application.

 What Should I Do If My Claim Was Denied?

If you received a denial letter you can appeal the decision. Appeals require additional paperwork and typically a hearing. We highly recommend that if you have received a denial letter and have not contacted an attorney that you do so as soon as possible.

I Am Already Receiving Workers Compensation, Can I Still Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes. If you were injured on the job and that injury resulted in a disability, it is possible to obtain both disability benefits and workers’ compensation. The benefits may be reduced depending on how much you get in workers’ compensation.