Social Security Disability:

Benefits under the Act explained. Information about claims for disabilities before the Social Security Administration.

I am an attorney working in North Carolina and South Carolina, but this site provides a forum that answers questions about disability laws for disabled people without lawyers, in whatever state they live.

This site is a fairly complete source of information for the disabled about Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, and the Social Security Administration’s related programs.

We have information on Worker’s Compensation, but only as that law applies in South Carolina. Most disability law, including Social Security Disability and SSI, is the same all over the country, but Worker’s Compensation law varies from state to state.

Disability Law Topics

Questions About Hiring An Attorney

How Do I Find A Good Lawyer?

A good disability rep from one of those big companies might be better than an attorney that does not handle Social Security Disability. But an experienced lawyer is usually better.

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Questions After An Unfavorable Decision

Why Was I Turned Down?

Most people who apply for disability benefits are turned down at least twice. This is part of the process and par for the course. The numbers change from year to year, but roughly speaking 70% of people are turned down on the initial application.

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Questions About Specific Disabilities

Heart Conditions

Heart conditions, or cardiovascular disease, can be caused by underlying medical problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Heart disease can also be hereditary. Cardiovascular disease can cause disabling symptoms such as fatigue on exertion and chest pain. Those who have already had a heart attack or who are at high risk for having one often have anxiety related to their condition.

Joint, Bone, and Muscle Problems

Musculoskeletal can be the basis for disability benefits. However, it is difficult to prove how much you hurt. You usually need to have the strong support of an orthopedist in order to help prove your musculoskeletal problems are severe enough to be considered disabling.

I Must Lie Down to Rest

Employers expect you to be at your work station. If you cannot do that, you will not be employed for long. Whether or not you are suffering from fatigue or chronic pain, your need to rest lying down will seriously affect your ability to work.

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Questions After A Favorable Decision

What Does a Partially Favorable Decision Mean? What Happens Next?

You might receive a partially favorable decision if the Social Security Administration determines that you are eligible for disability benefits as of a date that is later than the date you alleged you became disabled or if you are approved for a closed in period.

Overpayments the Social Security Administration Wants Back

There are several reasons why you might owe the Social Security Administration money. This happens when it is determined that at some point in the past you received money from the Social Security Administration that you were not rightfully due.

Question About Cutting Off My Check

A disability check could be ceased for any number of reasons. For instance, a person’s benefits might be cut off happen when he or she misses a follow up appointment with the doctor through Disability Determination Services.

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Questions About Proving I Am Disabled

How Do I Prove That I Am Disabled?

The critical piece of proving any disability claim is getting the written support of your doctor. However, it is not nearly enough for your doctor simply to write a note stating you are disabled. The regulations and the judges who interpret them require your doctor to explain what specific limitations you have and provide reasoning for those conclusions.

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Questions About Working Before, During, And After My Claim

Should I Keep Trying to Go to Work or to School?

Generally speaking yes. It is always better to work or go to school rather than to receive disability benefits. If your medical problems are limiting you, but you think there are probably some jobs out there you could do, then you should try to get your doctor to refer you to vocational rehabilitation services.

Should I Work while My Application is Being Processed?

You can continue working and still be eligible to receive disability benefits if you are earning under $1040 per month. This is true so long as the job you are doing does not require you to participate in any activities that would tend to show you do not have the limitations you are alleging.

My Medical Problems are Affecting My Ability to Work. What Do I Do Now?

It is always best to try to work for as long you are able unless doing so could potentially harm yourself or others. However, the day could arrive when you just cannot do it anymore. At that point, you should check to see if you might be eligible for short term or long term disability benefits through your employer.

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Questions Relating to Benefits for Different Types of People and Situations

Benefits For a Child of a Disabled or Retired Person

If you are eligible for disability benefits your children should be eligible to receive a monthly check for benefits based on your work record. This is true for biological, adopted or step children. In some cases a dependent grandchild might also qualify.The amount of the benefit depends on how many work credits you have.

Benefits for the Spouse of a Disabled Person

You can get retirement benefits based on your spouse’s record if you have been married for a year, and you are 62, and your spouse is 62 and is either drawing benefits, or has applied for benefits and asked that his or her benefits be suspended (do this if you want to retire, but he doesn’t)

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Related Legal Problems

Can I Get Medicare and Medicaid

If you are approved for disability insurance benefits (“DIB”), then you will be eligible for Medicare two years after that date you became entitled to benefits. Generally speaking that means the date that you became disabled plus 6 months.

Can I Get Short or Long Term Disability?

If you are no longer able to work, you might be qualified for short term disability (“STD”) or long term disability (“LTD”) benefits through your employer. First check to see if you have any disability coverage through your employer.

Can I Get Worker’s Compensation?

Many people who receive or are seeking Social Security disability also seek or receive workers compensation benefits. If you have a workers compensation case it can drastically affect the amount of money you receive for your disability case.

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