Frequently Asked Questions
- My doctor wrote a letter stating that I am disabled, how come Social Security still denied my claim for benefits?
Q - Do I have to be denied benefits to hire an attorney?
A - No, and as a matter of fact, EAG recommends that you hire a qualified attorney as soon as possible to file your initial application. It is important that the right kind of information be presented to the SSA from the very beginning to ensure your case is decided based on proper and complete information from the earliest stages of the process. Although EAG will accept representation at any of the administrative levels of the process, we have achieved great success in securing awards at the earliest stages and will assist you with all applications, questionnaires, appeals, and case-record development.
Q - Am I entitled to any medical coverage if I am “disabled”?
A - Recipients of SSDI benefits are entitled to coverage under Medicare after receiving SSDI benefits for twenty-four (24) months (applies retroactively) resulting in significant savings over paying private health insurance premiums. SSI recipients are entitled to Medicaid coverage.
Q - Will receiving Social Security Disability affect my retirement benefits?
A - Receiving SSDI actually protects your Social Security Retirement Benefits. For every year that you do not work and do not "pay into the system," no earnings are factored into your Social Security earnings record (even if you are receiving compensation under a private disability insurance plan). As a result, a significant amount of non-working years could result in a substantially reduced Social Security Retirement benefit for you. If we help you obtain SSDI benefits, however, your earnings record will be "frozen" on the date you are deemed to have become disabled and your retirement benefits will not be adversely affected.
Q - What happens if I am deemed “disabled” by SSA but I get better and want to return to work?
A - In most cases, entitlement to SSDI benefits also allows you a “trial work period” which gives you the opportunity to attempt to return to work in as many as nine (9) months while you still receive your full monthly SSDI benefit. SSA also offers an extended period of eligibility following your trial work period during which you can continue receiving benefits for the months you do not perform substantial gainful work. Expedited reinstatement of benefit is available in certain instances should your condition worsen and become disabling.
Q - How much will attorney representation cost me?
A - EAG takes all claims on a contingency fee basis. This means there is only a fee if your claim is approved and results in payment to you of retroactive benefits. If we are successful in winning your case, the fee is 25% of the retroactive benefits with a cap of $6,000. In addition, SSA will send that fee directly to EAG so that you never have to write a check. Also, we do not charge you for costs such as telephone calls, medical records, and/or mailings.
Q - What medical impairments does Social Security consider disabling?
A - The Social Security Administration will consider just about any type of physical or mental condition that is medically diagnosed by a physician. Once it is determined that you have a medically diagnosed condition the SSA considers the degree to which your impairments (either singularly or in combination with each other) impact your ability to perform work-related activities on a sustained basis. For example, if you have a severe back problem, it is not enough to simply show the SSA that you have the condition. You must prove with medical support that your condition renders you unable to work.
Q - My doctor wrote a letter stating that I am disabled, how come Social Security still denied my claim for benefits?
A - While an opinion from your treating doctor that you are disabled can be helpful, the SSA does not consider such an opinion as evidence that absolutely proves your claim. The reason for this is that disability determinations include other factors in addition to medical considerations such as age, education, work experience, and other vocational factors. In order to prove your disability claim, it is necessary to show you are unable to work considering all of these factors and to support your limitations with objective medical evidence.
Q - If my claim is approved, will my children get any benefits?
A - If you are approved for SSDI benefits and have children that are under 18 years of age (up to age 19 as long as they are still in high school), your children will be entitled to benefits on your earnings record. They must be your children whether biological, adopted, or stepchildren meeting certain criteria, in order to qualify. Each child can be entitled to an amount equal to 50% of your benefit up to the family maximum.