Florida Social Security Disability FAQs
Who is eligible for disability benefits from Social Security?
Under Social Security rules, you’re considered disabled (and eligible for benefits) if a medical condition or injury is expected to keep you from working for at least 12 months. The disability can be a physical condition, a mental condition, or a combination of both. Find out if you qualify for disability benefits in Florida.
Are mental illnesses eligible for disability benefits?
Yes. Mental illness is a frequently used basis for getting Social Security Disability benefits.
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) are for people who suffer with a disability and can no longer work. You may qualify for this program if you have worked a long time and paid sufficient FICA taxes. But, you may still be denied these benefits if SSA determines you are not medically disabled.
If you have not paid enough money into the Social Security system to qualify for benefits, then you may still be able to receive Supplemental Security Income. The government will look at your income status and review what resources are available to you. This is used in determining your qualification.
Social Security said that I would be able to return to work. Should I wait to see if my health improves or should I appeal?
You have a limited time to appeal your initial denial – don’t wait to see if your health improves. Contact John Hurley today. Let his experience help get you the benefits you deserve.
Why do I need a lawyer to help me? Why should I hire The Law Offices of John Hurley?
If you need Social Security Disability benefits, you should consider seeking professional expertise, like a lawyer, to help you apply or appeal if you’ve already been denied.
Why do we recommend obtaining legal counsel? An attorney with a law degree has training for complex legal matters, such as administrative law, the type of law used by Social Security.
If you would like to learn more about John Hurley, visit our About Us page.
You may also request a free consultation by visiting our Contact Us page or calling us at (239) 653-9475>.
When should I contact an attorney about representation?
You should contact an attorney before you file a claim with the Social Security Administration. Disability attorney John Hurley can help you plan a strategy to win your case from the beginning. If you wait to get an attorney after your claim has been denied, you may harm your case with different damaging statements or other information. This information can be used against you on appeal.
How can I find out if my medical condition qualifies for disability benefits?
While the Social Security Administration maintains a list of qualifying conditions, almost any condition that keeps you from working will qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security rules. Contact us today. We'll arrange a FREE evaluation of your claim to find out if you qualify for benefits.
If I applied but was denied, what should I do?
You should appeal. If you want to appeal, you must make your request in writing within 60 days from the date you received a denial letter. Five days after the date on the letter begins your 60-day period.
The clock is ticking – don’t wait! Contact John Hurley to help start your appeal.
What is the difference between a lawyer and a non-attorney advocate?
Non-attorneys are allowed to help people under the Social Security Administration’s rules. They may not have the expertise necessary to help you. They are not lawyers. They can help you file your initial claim, but if your claim is denied (and most are) you will want legal counsel to proceed to the next step.
If you have questions about your eligibility, you should probably be working with an attorney.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney for my disability case?
At The Law Offices of John Hurley, we don’t charge a fee unless we win your Social Security Disability claim. If we do win your case, our fee is regulated by federal statute. We charge 25% of your back benefits up to a maximum of $6,000.
We also charge for actual costs such as medical records.
You pay no attorney fee unless we win your claim.
What questions should I ask someone before hiring them to help me with my disability case?
There are several questions you should ask an attorney before making the decision to hire that attorney to handle your disability case. Here are some questions you may want to ask.
- Is Social Security Disability a substantial part of your practice?
- How long have you been practicing Social Security Disability Law?
- Are you local to Southwest Florida?
- Will you meet with me before my hearing?
- Will an attorney handle my case?
- Do you take phone appointments?
- Do you take initial applications?
Can I collect Social Security Disability benefits while I work?
Special rules make it possible for people receiving Social Security Disability benefits to work part-time and still receive monthly payments.
A trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your trial work period, you will receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you are earning as long as you report your work activity and you continue to have a disabling impairment.
After your trial work period, you have 36 months during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month your earnings are not "substantial."
Does my age matter when trying to receive disability benefits?
Yes. The Social Security Administration looks at age as one of the factors when determining disability. The Administration evaluates age as follows:
- 18-49 is a younger worker
- 50-54 is closely approaching advanced age
- 55-59 is advanced age
- 60-64 is closely approaching retirement age.
The Social Security Administration's rules take into consideration that as people get older, they become less adaptable, less able to switch to different jobs to cope with health problems.
Can I file for Social Security Disability when I have filed for early Social Security retirement?
Yes, if you stopped working as a result of a medical condition.
Can I get Social Security Disability benefits and Workers’ Compensation?
Yes, you can file a claim for Workers' Comp and Social Security Disability benefits...
While the two benefit systems are completely separate, the Social Security Administration may lower your disability payments by the amount of your Workers' Compensation benefits, by taking what's called an "offset."
I’m interested in talking with John Hurley. What should I do?
Contact our office today. We’ll arrange a consultation to determine whether you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. If you do, we’ll help you start the proceedings for the best chance to win.