Social Security Disability
If you are unable to work due to a physical or mental condition that will last, or has lasted the duration of twelve (12) months, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
In many cases, applying for Social Security Disability can be a multi-step process. There are five levels:
- Initial claim
- Administrative Law Judge Hearing
- Appeals Council review
- Federal Court Review
How to Apply for Benefits
There are three ways to apply for Social Security Disability benefits:
- Apply online at www.ssa.gov
- Apply by telephone by calling 1-800-772-1213
- Apply in person at your local Social Security District Office. Cape May County Social Security Administration is located 1046 New Jersey 47 South, Rio Grande, NJ
You do not need a lawyer to apply for SSD benefits. However, having an attorney on your side during this process will help better prepare your claim.
You Can Afford a Social Security Attorney
Our Social Security attorneys work on a contingent basis which means we do not get paid unless you do. All attorney fees and costs come from the award of past due benefits.
How Past Due Benefits are Determined
There are three factors that determine past due benefits. First, the application date, second, the date of disability, and third, the five-month waiting period.
Date of Disability
The most important of these factors is the date of disability. When you file an application for SSD you must indicate when you believe your disability began. This is your alleged onset date (“AOD”). A claim that is approved is given an established onset date (“EOD”) and is considered to be the date when the disability actually began. This determination is made based on medical records, doctor’s reports, lab results, and work history.
Five Month Waiting Period
Benefits do not begin to accrue until 5 months after the EOD. This is the “five month waiting period.” This means that if your EOD is established in January, your benefits do not begin until June.
For SSD, you may be entitled to retroactive benefits if your EOD is established before your application date. However, retroactive benefits are limited to no greater than 12 months before your application date.
In order to receive retroactive benefits under SSD there must be proof of disability before applying for SSD and disability at least five months before the application date.
There are no retroactive benefits for SSI applicants.
If your claim is approved, all past due benefits are typically paid as one lump sum.
Our Attorneys Can Help
Many claims are denied at the initial claim and reconsideration stages.
Statistics show that you are more likely to win your claim with the help of a skilled attorney. Having a Social Security attorney at your side will allow you to properly prepare your case.