1. Social Security will not tell you that you should hire an attorney.
When you apply for the disability program, Social Security Administration (SSA) will not suggest that you hire an attorney to help you with the process. It is unknown why SSA won’t suggest you hire an attorney. Having an attorney help with your case is a good thing. Your attorney will know the process, how to handle Social Security, and what evidence is needed to win your case. If you are thinking about applying for disability benefits you should seek legal counsel. Your attorney will handle all discussions with SSA so you do not have to. Any attorney’s fee will be contingency-based and won’t cost you anything out of pocket. So what do you have to lose by hiring a disability attorney?
2. Individuals age 50+ are more often approved.
Social Security believes that once you reach age 50, it will be more difficult for you to be re-trained to perform different kinds of work from those you have done in the past. This is significant because Social Security relaxes the requirements to prove disability at 50+. The general attitude is that if you are 49 or younger you should be capable of doing your past work or being retrained to do some other type of work. Without medical records of severe problems and treat your case will likely be denied. This is another reason to hire an attorney sooner rather than later. An experienced Social Security attorney will know the regulations and will be able to effectively argue why your age plays a major role in your inability to work.
3. You may be eligible for auxiliary benefits.
If you are found disabled, your family members, including your spouse and dependent children may be eligible to receive auxiliary benefits. For your spouse to qualify for auxiliary benefits he or she must be under the age of 62 and be a joint caregiver of your children together. Your children may qualify for benefits if they are under the age of 18, 19 if they are still in high school, and unmarried. In addition, you must be the primary caregiver for the children. If you think your spouse or children may qualify for these benefits you will need to notify Social Security.
4. You can receive early retirement AND disability benefits at the same time.
If you have applied for early retirement due to a disability, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits as well. You can collect SSD benefits in conjunction with early retirement benefits. However, your disability will be offset by your early retirement amount. Essentially, if you’re collecting early retirement and you can prove you are disabled, the disability benefit will supplement the penalty you took by collecting the early retirement (i.e. that 25%).
5.VA rating does not affect the amount of your Social Security disability check.
VA benefits and Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits often go hand in hand. A lot of veterans have a
6. 70% of initial applications are denied.
Social Security doesn’t want you to know that most applications are denied. There are several potential reasons they don’t want you to know this. First, it makes them look bad. With such a high denial rate Social Security looks like they are just a rubber stamp denying almost all cases. They appear to be uncaring of individuals applying for the program. Second, they don’t want you to hire an attorney. If you hire an attorney upfront, your attorney will require the proper work is done on the claim. Meaning, they won’t be able to just push your claim through without following the proper procedures. And third, they don’t want to appear inefficient. Why is the approval rating at the initial stage lower than the national average at the hearing stage? The hearing approval rate is 44%…14% higher than at the initial stage. So why would a judge’s approval rating be higher than the initial application rating? Maybe it is a lack of education for the employees at the initial stage? Or maybe it’s simply because your caseworker is overworked and doesn’t have the proper time to spend developing your case. Whatever the reason, it all comes back to your decision to hire an attorney to help you with your claim.
7. Disability coverage expires.
To qualify for disability benefits you must have disability insurance. You obtain disability insurance coverage by paying social security taxes for the past 5 out of 10 years. More specifically, you must have worked 20 of the last 40 quarters and paid taxes on those earnings. One thing Social Security does not tell you is that there is an expiration date on your disability insurance coverage. Meaning, just because you have paid taxes into the system does not mean you will be able to claim these benefits forever. This coverage expires 5 years after you stop paying social security taxes. This expiration date is called your date last insurance (DLI). It is important that you apply for disability benefits prior to your disability insurance expiration. If you are unable to prove your disability began prior to the insurance expiration you will be precluded from receiving those benefits. If you feel you are disabled, unable to work, do not hesitate in filing your application. Too many times I have seen clients wait to file for benefits after their DLI date has expired. Their rationale is that even though they stopped working, they held out hope they would someday be able to return to work full time. When that day doesn’t come, more often than not too much time has elapsed and they no longer qualify for the program. Don’t let this situation happen to you!