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Social Security Disability Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible for SSDI?

To be entitled to SSDI benefits, claimants must meet certain standard requirements:

  • They must have a "severe" physical or mental disability/impairment
  • Their disability must be expected to last at least 12 months
  • They must have worked and paid into the Social Security system for five of the 10 years prior to becoming disabled

It's important to remember that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has very specific standards for determining who is "disabled" for SSDI purposes. Also, what disabilities are deemed "severe" may sometimes not correspond to generally held views. Dobbs Law can explain to you how these standards apply to your claim and how the vocational and medical rules governing SSDI benefits work in your favor. Call us toll free at 888-366-8134.

If I'm receiving benefits, can my family receive benefits too?

Your spouse and minor children under 18 may be eligible for benefits within SSDI. A disabled adult child may also be eligible if he or she became disabled prior to age 22.

How long does the process take?

While this varies in each district, you can usually expect a decision within three to six months after filing your initial application. The reconsideration phase takes additional time. If a hearing upon appeal is the next step, it may take up to 10-12 months for the hearing to be scheduled. A significant backlog of cases in the SSA may delay the process even longer.

What happens if my initial application is turned down?

If your initial application is denied, you may appeal it. If the appeal or request for reconsideration is denied, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). While many people contact an attorney only when they have been denied or have reached the hearing stage, we can best represent you from the earliest stages of the process. The attorney can then build your case from the ground up and manage the case to your best advantage.

Why should I hire a Social Security Disability attorney?

Experienced lawyers make a difference:

  • We have been through every step of the legal process thousands of times.
  • We know whom to call on for support of your disability claim and what evidence to show the administrative law judge or court.
  • We have harmonious working relationships with those who preside over these cases.
  • We persevere when other firms might give up on your claim.
  • You are never charged a fee unless we win.

If I want an attorney to represent me, how much will that cost?

Attorney fees for SSDI/SSI representation are on a contingency basis, meaning that you pay nothing unless you receive benefits. Attorney fees are governed by federal government rules, which limit the attorney fees to 25 percent of any "back benefits" obtained for you, with a maximum cap of $6,000.

What happens at a hearing?

An administrative law judge (ALJ) will be present, along with the government's medical expert and the government's vocational expert. If you have an attorney representing you, he or she will attend to advocate for your interests, cross-examine the government's experts, and argue your case from the facts and the law in the light most favorable to you.

Contact Us to Learn About SSDI Eligibility

At Dobbs Law, we understand the process for securing SSDI/SSI benefits can seem confusing. We are here to help you navigate through the legal process to maximize your eligibility. Contact our SSDI lawyers today at 888-366-8134 for the experience you deserve.