Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions for more information about Social Security disability law. If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, you may ask them by Leaving a Comment below, and we will try to answer them as we are able. Any answers are for informational purposes only; they do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Questions About Representation

Questions About the Application and Appeals Process

Questions About Benefits

Questions About the Determination Process

Questions About Other Benefits and Income

Questions About Specific Impairments

   Mental Impairments

Questions About Tampa

12 Comments on Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I have been disapproved on my initial application for SS disability. I retired from my previous employer over 3 years ago and due to health issues have not been employed since that time. I receive a small retirement pension. I paid into social security at the company from which I retired.
    I plan to mail in paperwork asking for reconsideration within the 60 day deadline. I have not obtained any paperwork from my doctors or submitted any medical info or medical contact info yet with my application, which means they will likely disapprove it again on reconsideration. Will lack of submitting this info result in moving me to the next step of the disapproval process? I am in the process of selecting an attorney to handle the paperwork as it seems very overwhelming per online forums and I do not feel I will be successful without an attorney. I will be turning 62 soon and I want to apply for early SS retirement in the meantime as sounds as if this process may take some time. How do I go about applying for SS early retirement benefits since my SS disability application is already in the works?

    • I do recommend that you consider hiring an attorney in your area. (If you are in the Tampa Bay area, feel free to call me.) You should definitely appeal within the 60 day deadline in any case, and yes, medical records are essential to winning your case. If you are denied again at the Request for Reconsideration stage, then you can appeal again by Requesting a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. There is a long wait for a hearing, but this will give you and your attorney time to submit all the required evidence and strengthen the case. You are much more likely to win at hearing if you are represented by an attorney.

      As for Social Security retirement benefits, you can apply online or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Many people collect early retirement benefits while a disability application is pending. If you are later found disabled, then you will receive your full benefit rather than the reduced benefit for retiring early.

  2. Thank you so much for the information and prompt response. Your information online is always informative and helpful.

  3. After the decision has been sent to a writer, how long after that is it sent in the mail? And is there a way to find out the judges decision before the papers come in the mail?

    • Unfortunately, there is no set time for the process between a hearing before an administrative law judge and getting the judge’s decision in the mail. It depends on the judge and the procedures at your local hearing office.

      As for finding out the decision before it arrives in the mail, if you are represented by an attorney, your attorney would have access to Social Security’s electronic records and so would be able to read the decision online once it’s written. Other than that, if you call the hearing office and ask, they might tell you whether it is favorable or not.

  4. Does anybody know if their will be a rise in SSI in 2017 of so how much I’m getting $733.00

  5. Steve Tessman // November 22, 2016 at 8:59 am // Reply

    Our adult daughter has been receiving SSDI (mental illness) for a year. Her mother and I decided it would be better for her to live with us instead of a group home since her illness forced her home over 2 years ago. I recently have been assigned as representative payee for her. She has returned working 2 days per week but cannot drive so we drive her 100 miles each day. We also provide all her transportation for doctor, therapy, and meetings with her community mental health manager. Our situation presents 2 significant issues for us:
    1. SSA guidelines state she can own a car but since she cannot drive that does not seem practical. I could probably be listed as a co-owner to secure insurance to be her driver for her use only. But I don’t know if there is a better option. Can we be reimbursed for mileage to offset the cost of transportation for her?

    2. Since she is living in our home under our care, what is the best approach her determine her share of the shelter, food, and utilities. Can we simply divide total cost by the number of occupants (3 in this case)?

    I understand as representative payee I cannot (and I would not want to) be paid a fee. What is the best means to account for the funds used for her living and transportation needs?

    Thanks in advance.


  6. Verna C. Ellis // December 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm // Reply

    I am receiving retirement from the state of Texas. I am also receiving disability retirement benefits. Does the statee pension count against the amount I receive for disability–do you have a phone number i can call to get this clarified?

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