Additional Social Security Disability Information
Below are some common questions that the Law Office of Barbara M. Jacobson frequently discusses with clients. Contact our Sacramento office at
916-921-5285 to learn more and schedule your free initial consultation.
Who May Receive Federal Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability is a type of benefit that disabled workers under the age of 65 may apply for. However, spouses and dependent children of disabled or deceased disabled workers also may be able to receive benefits. Social Security Disability is like an insurance program. If you have worked long enough and recently enough to be insured and are unable to work due to a physical or mental impairment, you may qualify for benefits. For Social Security Disability benefits, your other income and assets are not important.
When Does Social Security Consider You Disabled?
Standards for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits are different from the standards for receiving workers’ compensation benefits. There is no requirement that you must be industrially injured. All disabling conditions that can be medically documented are considered. To be considered disabled and eligible for benefits under the Social Security Disability or SSI programs, you must have a physical or mental condition or a combination of conditions that are severe enough to keep you from working for at least a year. If you have been off work for a year due to a medical condition and have improved so that you are able to return to work, you may be entitled to a closed period of benefits and be compensated for the time you were off.
How Do I Apply For Benefits?
Regular Social Security will pay back benefits for a period of a year prior to the date of filing. However, they waive benefits for the first 5 months of your disability. In other words, you must be disabled for five months before you receive your first benefit amount. Therefore, to obtain the maximum amount of back benefits you should apply no latter than 18 months from the date you last worked.
Social Security pays SSI payments from the date you apply or the date you are eligible, which ever is later. Thus, it is important for you to apply for SSI as soon as possible if you think you are eligible.
You may apply by telephone, mail or in person at your local social Security office. Most people do not seek the services of an attorney at this stage. You do have a right to have an attorney represent you at every stage of your claim. If you feel you do not want to wait for the first denial and you need our help, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Are There Time Limitations on Filing a Social Security Disability Claim?
As with any other field of law, Social Security Law has time limitations as to when procedures should be completed. Most of the time limits are 60 days and it is written on the denial notice.
- Request for Reconsideration (after the initial denial within 60 days of the date of the denial)
- Request for Hearing (after the reconsideration denial, second denial) 60 days of the date of the denial
- Request for Review With Appeals Council within 60 days of the date of the unfavorable hearing decision.
- File a Complaint With the US District Court within 60 days of the Appeals Council denial
- File an Answer with the US District Court Secretary has 90 days to prepare a transcript and file the Answer
- Federal Court Time Limits in Social Security Cases are set forth in the Order Re: Social Security Cases that is given out at the time the Complaint is filed.
How Does a Worker Qualify for Insured Status?
To qualify for any benefits under Social Security other than Supplemental Security Income or dependent’s benefits, and individual must work and pay into the trust funds for a specified period of time.
Disability insured status depends on the workers’ age when they became disabled.
Under 24 years old:
- 1 ½ years (6 quarters) of work out of the three year period ending when you disability begins.
24-30 years old:
- Earned credits for having worked half of the them between age 21 and the time they became disabled.
31 years or older:
- Five years of work out of the 10 years ending when you became disabled. (In other words, 20 quarters of coverage out of the previous 40 quarters); and
- Fully insured status. Enough work credit earned to be eligible for retirement benefits, just as if you had reached retirement age at the time you became disabled. (A minimum of 6 quarters <1 ½ years> is required in every case).
- Disabled before age 31, recover and then disabled again at 31 or older. Earned quarters of coverage for half of the time between age 21 and the time they became re-disabled. The previous time period of disability is no counted.
- Blind person, no requirement for recent work. But, one quarter of coverage earned for each year since 1950 or age 21, if later, up to the year the individual became blind. (Minimum of 6 quarters of 1 ½ years is required).
For additional information, information that is specific to your case, or to schedule your free initial consultation, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer at the Law Office of Barbara M. Jacobson today.