Coye Law Firm

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability

Qualifying for SSD Benefits:

Q: I’ve been disabled and out of work for 2 months. Can I claim SSD benefits? 
A: The law states that a person must be considered disabled for five months before receiving benefits. However, your case may have other areas of liability, including workers’ compensation and personal injury. contact the Coye Law Firm to find out if you may collect benefits another way. 

Q: Wouldn’t a disability at age 60 be different from one at 25? What are the age requirements for Social Security Disability?
A: An adult from ages 19 to 49 is considered “younger” and is deemed to have the ability to adapt to work other than the work the person has done in the past. For a “younger” person, unless certain special things are present, they must prove that they cannot do even the simplest job that exists in “significant numbers” anywhere in the United States. 

For a person from ages 50 to 54 (considered a person “closely approaching advanced age,”), they must prove that the medical condition limits them to no better than sedentary work (basically a sit down job), that he or she cannot do any work done in the previous 15 years, and that this work did not give him or her any skills which apply to sedentary work. 

For a person over 55 (“advanced age” or “closely approaching retirement age”) the person must show that he or she is limited by the medical condition to no better than light work, that he or she cannot return to any job done in the last 15 years and that he or she has no work skills which could be applied to any other light or sedentary job which is similar in terms of industry, tools, and work processes to that which the person has done before.

Q: Where do I apply?
A: Apply for disability benefits online at the Social Security Administration’s website, or explore our Qualifying & Applying for Social Security Benefits page. Applying for Supplemental Security Income is more in-depth and requires a personal meeting with a representative at a local social security office. Enter your zip code on their website to find an office near you . 

Q: How do I contact Social Security?
A: Call 1-800-772-1213 to speak with a representative regarding applications or setting up an appointment. 

Q: How will I receive my benefits if my application is accepted? 
A: Beneficiaries can receive their payments in the form of a check or through direct deposit. The checks are sent through the mail and payments are made monthly.  

Keeping SSD Benefits:

Q: How long can I collect benefits?
A: The Social Security Administration will continue to pay benefits “as long as your medical condition has not improved and you cannot work.” The agency will periodically review a beneficiary’s disabled status to ensure that the system is not being taken advantage of. If your benefits end and you are still reasonably disabled, contact a Social Security disability lawyer at the Coye Law Firm.

Q: If my health improves enough for me to go back to work, do I lose my disability payments?
A: The Social Security Administration has a work incentive program to assist people who can return to employment. The Administration recognizes that this may be easier said than done, however. They set up a trial work period of nine months that allows beneficiaries to test their ability to work while still receiving Social Security benefits. More information on their policies can be found here .

Q: Can I still work and get Social Security Disability benefits?
A: In short, yes. If you have a mental or physical limitation that prevents you from earning a federal minimum, then you may be eligible for benefits. This means that those who are still working but have limits put on the type or length of work they do may receive benefits if they earn less than $980 a month. This number changes, but a lawyer at the Coye Law Firm can help you determine if you are eligible for these benefits. 

Q: I’m in the process of divorcing my husband/wife. I haven’t been able to find a job, and we relied on his/her Social Security Disability payments when we were together. Can I claim any benefits even if we’re not together anymore?
A: The Administration has set up rules regarding who can claim benefits. Generally, if a person gets married, their benefits may stop. If their marriage ends, they might start receiving benefits again. According to their website , if you get divorced from someone claiming Social Security Disability benefits, you must be 62 years of age or older and married for at least 10 years to claim their benefits. contact our Social Security disability law firm to find out more. 

Q: Can I claim other benefits, such as workers’ compensation, along with Social Security Disability?
A: You can file for disability benefits under workers compensation and Social Security, but both agencies need to be notified. The SSA states that benefits “may be reduced if you are also eligible for…disability benefits from certain federal, state, or local government programs” as well. The insurance attorneys at the Coye Law Firm can consult you on the sources of disability benefits you may want to claim. Additionally, our law firm can ensure that the steps are carried out to satisfy agency requirements and aid in communication. 

Q: Why would I need a lawyer to help me?
A: The Social Security Administration has a system designed to benefit many people, and with that responsibility may come errors in or denials of benefits. The SSA has a guide to what an attorney can do for you, available here . The Coye Law Firm is experienced in disability claims and remedies, as well as financial matters. Our approach to your claim will be comprehensive and tailored to your needs. Our Social Security disability attorneys and personal injury legal staff can help.  

Supplemental Security Income & Disability Insurance Benefits:

Q: What does “SSI” stand for? What does it do?
A: SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. It is designed to pay benefits for disabled adults and children with very low income or resources. This program considers all of your household income when determining your eligibility to receive benefits. The benefits are meant to cover basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. 

Q: How much does SSI pay?
A: According to the Social Security Administration, individuals are eligible to receive $698 per month, or a couple can get $1,048 per month. Depending on your income, who you live with, or where you live, this number will change. 

Q: What is “DIB”?
A: DIB stands for Disability Insurance Benefits and is similar to the benefits from Supplemental Security Income. However, this program is designed for people who need fewer benefits because of their income. Temporarily injured workers who file for DIB are only asked to report their own earnings to determine eligibility. Other sources of income, such as a spouse’s work earnings, are not used to determine eligibility. 

Q: How much does DIB pay?
A: Disability Insurance Benefits depend on your work history and contribution to Social Security. There are online calculators that allow you to calculate how much you may receive. 

Q: Which one can I get benefits from?
A: Depending on your financial status, you can receive either Disability Insurance Benefits or Supplemental Security Income. To determine which program you are eligible for, use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool available through the Social Security Administration ‘s website.

Q: Can I get both SSI and DIB?
A: In certain circumstances, yes. The maximum income that an individual can receive while getting SSI in 2010 is $674 in a month. If you win $500 in the lottery one month, you are required to report it and your benefits will go down by $500 for one month to make up for the income. If you are unable to work due to a disability and financially qualify for both programs, you can receive both types of benefit. Because SSI caps at $674, your disability benefits would need to be less than that to receive both at the same time. For example, if you get $400 in DIB, you can make up the remaining $274 through enrollment in SSI. 

Contact our offices today to gain experienced legal protection in your negotiations regarding Social Security Disability benefits.