This is a topic that scares many people because there is a lot of red tape, and you can really get bogged down in it.
However, you should not be frightened of the process. If you think you’re disabled, there are good resources online to help you, and of course, we as lawyers like to help you through the process. So don’t be fearful.
If you are disabled, this is a program that was set up in 1935. It has been progressed, but it is a safety net for the general public. One of the things we’re often asked as personal injury attorneys is what is the difference between SSI and Title 2 Social Security Disability?
When you pay into Social Security Retirement, a portion of that is paying for Social Security Disability. That is something like paying an insurance premium.
You have to have 40 quarters of coverage if you’re older than 31 years of age. And you have to have paid in 20 of the last 40 quarters prior to the date of disability, which is probably about the last ten years. That’s what we call regular disability.
There is a needs-based program and it is Social Security Supplementary income. It’s called Title 16, and that’s a policy whereby a disabled worker can be paid up to $733 per month plus Medicaid benefits.
But in conjunction with that, you have to take into account other resources and assets, such as spousal income, to determine what that amount would be. It is really intended as a safety net.
When you hire an attorney to help you work through a disability claim, there is a contract that the Social Security Administration asks lawyers to use to charge clients. We charge 25-percent of the past due. That would be the date for which you’re found disabled back to the time of your filing.
In Title2, that could be one year prior to the date of filing. So, that would be 25-percent of the past due benefits with a cap of $6,000.
When you hire a lawyer to help you, just remember that you want someone you can communicate with, someone who will take your phone calls and talk with you. Also, you’ll want someone who has a staff who will listen to you.