Frequently Asked Questions


What are your attorneys fees?
No attorneys fees unless and until you win. All fees in Social Security and SSI disability cases are set by Congress and must be approved by the Social Security Administration as part of the process when a case is won. Fees are 25% of any back benefit you receive, with a current maximum fee cap of $6,000 at the administrative level throughout the first hearing. If a Social Security claim is denied at the administrative level and won on an appeal, fees are 25% of all past-due benefits. We do not charge attorneys fees unless you win. We also do not charge “set-up” or “filing” fees unlike many firms. However, your doctors and hospitals may charge you fees for your medical records.

Having a disability attorney help you with your case might well result in a larger back benefit award – this would be the case if, for example, you had a prior claim that we could reopen, giving you access to more years of back benefits.

When do I apply?
Each case is different. Sometimes it is best to delay filing and sometimes it is best to file immediately. We get better results when we file at the time that is in the best interest of our clients. We can help you avoid the pitfall of filing “too soon” or “too late”.

How do I apply?
Contact our office and we can help you file your claim. Often we can increase your chances of winning at the initial level. We can also explain to you the questions that are often confusing for many applicants.

How will they determine if I am disabled?
Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a 5-step process to decide if you are disabled.

1.  Are you working?
If you are working and your earnings average more than a certain amount each month, SSA generally will not consider you disabled. As of 2015, the amount that SSA considers Substantial Gainful Activity is $1090 per month. If you are not working, or your earnings are less than substantial gainful activity, SSA then looks at your medical condition(s).

2.  Is your medical condition “severe”?
For SSA to determine that you are disabled, your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities—such as walking, sitting and remembering—for at least one year or expected to end in death. If your medical condition is not that severe, you will not be considered disabled. If your condition is that severe, SSA goes to step three.

3.  Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments?
SSA has a List of Impairments that describes medical conditions that are considered so severe that they automatically mean that you are disabled as defined by law. If your condition (or combination of medical conditions) is not on this list, SSA looks to see if your condition is as severe as a condition that is on the list. If the severity of your medical condition meets or equals that of a listed impairment, SSA will decide that you are disabled. If you do not meet a listing, SSA determines what you’re capable of doing despite your impairments (residual functional capacity) and goes to step four.

4.  Can you do the work you did before?
At this step, SSA decides if your medical condition prevents you from being able to do work you have done in the past 15 years. If SSA decides you can perform your past work, you will be found not disabled. If SSA decides you cannot perform your past work, SSA goes on to step five.

5.  Can you do any other type of work?
If you cannot do your past work, SSA looks to see if you would be able to do other work. It evaluates your medical condition, your age,education, past work experience, and any skills you may have that could be used to do other work. If you can do other work, SSA will determine you are not disabled. If you cannot do other work, SSA will determine you are disabled.

How much will my benefits be?

The amount of your monthly disability benefit is based on your earnings and taxes paid to Social Security. The Social Security Statement that you receive each year displays your lifetime earnings and provides an estimate of your disability benefits. If you do not have your Social Security Statement and would like an estimate of your disability benefit, you can request one atwww.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213.