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Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

Applying for Social Security disability can be a long involved process that you may need some help with. This is a guide about receiving social security disability benefits.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 29, 20121 found this helpful

I am currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. Is my child eligible to receive monthly benefits?

By Mike

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January 12, 20050 found this helpful

I am about to apply for Social Security Disability. In my mind, I have been eligible for 12 years, but have continually been turned down. The head of the heart transplant team at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City even sent a letter saying I had to have a transplant or I would die. (I did improve so that the transplant was not necessary). But I still can't work enough to earn a living. Do you have any tips for me on how to meet their requirements and document my medical condition? I really need help! Thanks in advance!

Coreen

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January 12, 20050 found this helpful

Coreen,

If you have been turned down more than once by the SSA, I suggest that you contact a lawyer whose speciality is disability claims.

MikeL

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January 12, 20050 found this helpful

ivillagehealth.com has a forum with lots of info on filing for disability claims.

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http://messageb  ge.com/iv-bhssdi
You should probably consult a lawyer too.

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January 13, 20050 found this helpful

I've known several people who have tried for years to get on Social Security Disability and only succeeded after they got an attorney. They will take a portion of what you get for the original settlement but you usually get money back to when you first applied. I think (based on several friends experience) that it is the government's policy with SS and with VA benefits to deny as many claims as possible. Many people just give up or die before getting benefits and then they don't need to pay them. If you and your doctors believe you have a valid claim, don't give up and just keep appealing. An attorney will not charge you anything, nor will they take the case if they don't believe they can get you your money.

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Susan from ThriftyFun

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By Kathy (Guest Post)
January 13, 20050 found this helpful

I work for SSA taking dib claims. If you are turned down and do not agree with the decision, by all means, keep filing that appeal. An attorney can be a good idea, there are several out there. I would recommend going on SSA's web site and filing out the form SSA-3368 and filing online. The form is better in your own words and this gives you the time to tell them in your words what your disablility is. The biggest is to make sure you give plenty of details about EVERYTHING, not just about what you think is important. Remember, the workers at SSA do not make the medical decisions, they just help you with the paperwork. The decision is out of their hands. IF you would like to email me, my email is djrker2003@yahoo.com

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By jeanie (Guest Post)
January 13, 20050 found this helpful

I am on disability andi have found is they want to know what your worst day is like!

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I have good days and bad days and I can tell you the bad days for me are like a walking disaster! Also, an attorney is essential anymore. They can do quite a bit for you, as they have experience that we don't have in fighting for your needs.

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January 13, 20050 found this helpful

Remember, you need to be proactive on this. Send in the forms. Call Social Security up and ask for help from them. Be very careful to send any information in ON-TIME or at least call and ask what you can do if you're late. Many times the first application is denied because they don't have all the information to make the decision. Call SSA and ask if your file is complete and ask which doctor doesn't have information turned in. Call the doctor yourself and encourage them to turn it in. Call social security again 15 days later to see if your file is complete again. When it is, ask approximately how long it will take for a decision to be made (like 6 weeks). Put the date on the calander and call at that time if you haven't heard yet. The name of the game is persistence. Be always patient and polite with docs and with the disability determination office, but be PERSISTENT! You're not "bothering" them. This is essential to your life situation and you have the right to know -- as long as you are pleasant and patient. Yelling at them or becoming a pest never helps and may be detrimental to your case.

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Be sure to appeal if they deny you. It has to be sent in within 60 days. If you are denied again, then you must appear in court before a judge at the next level of appeal. Particularly at that time you'd need a lawyer. You pay nothing up-front to the lawyer. A lawyer will evaluate your case to see if they will accept it. If you are denied disability then you pay the lawyer nothing. If you win disability, then you get a back-payment back to when your disability started. (I got 2 yrs of backpayment which was about $16,000.) The lawyer receives a quarter (25%) of the backpayment whatever it ends up being. Social security stipulates this fee schedule so it is consistent across the country. A lawyer may not charge more.

It is important to get a lawyer whose practice is primarily disability law. It is complicated stuff. You don't want someone who handles one case a month. They won't know the ins and outs of it and they won't know the judges who hear these cases in your area.

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If you miss the date for sending in an appeal (like I did), don't worry about it. You can send in a new application and start over. Then resend all the information again.

Good luck.
coolchinchilla

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January 13, 20050 found this helpful

Another thing...

A lawyer can be helpful in a number of ways. They know how to word things on your application so that social security will accept it. Of course only report the truth, but it is important to report the grimmest side of the truth. Another poster said to report how your bad days are and how many bad days you have in a month. For example, maybe you feel ok many days, but in a 20-day work month, you'd have to call in sick 8 of those days. No employer could work around a schedule like that. A lawyer can help a physician report the information in such a way that social security will accept it. Not all docs know how to fill these out effectively. They are used to cryptic notes in charts which mean a lot to another doc but not to a non-medical person. A lawyer can help them strengthen a doc's report so the seriousness of the disability will be apparent to a non-medical person.

The definition social security uses for disability is pretty strict. It is if you cannot be gainfully employed which is defined as earning $800+ per month. Not whether you could work the job you left, but if you can work anything at all and earn more than $850/month. (The amount changes over time.) So your answers to social security's question must be valid for any job at all, not just pertaining to the nursing job you had before for example.

Keep working on it. You'll make it.

coolchinchilla

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By Linda (Guest Post)
January 16, 20050 found this helpful

I am a RN who tried twice on my own to apply for SSDI. I was told by my counsleor that going to an attorney who specializes is the only way I would ever get disability income. I took her advice and sure enough! Plus I was reimbursed from the date of my accident (4 years prior) and was given Medicare Insurance that has been an absolute blessing.

Good luck!

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By Connie (Guest Post)
January 24, 20050 found this helpful

check your area to see if there is a college with a legal clinic. In my area a law school lets students help with the application.

You are better off applying in person. Think ahead of time of the things you have learned coping techniques. left listing problems that I had previously had. The idea is to be able to tell the worker, SPECIFIC ways that your disability afffects your daily life and work life.

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By Tom Davidson (Guest Post)
January 28, 20050 found this helpful

But i have been disabled since 2000 but the disability determination services said that . However,the medical evidence shows that your condition did not prevent all work activity until May 6 2004. I applied july/2004. I was approved for full disability with a review in 7 years .With my first month of entitlement for November 2004. They said I have to be disabled for a full 5 months before I can be entitled to benefits, With all my medical problems I have I don't see how they can determine that I was able to have any work activity up to May 6 / 04. Can I appeal this to maybe get back pay for any time from now to 2000?

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January 28, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Tom,
It looks like you can appeal their decision and possibly get the back pay:

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/11008.html

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February 1, 20050 found this helpful

Hello Coreen,The first thing you should do is call your local Assembly person. Ask if they can help you.Then get a lawyer that will wait for their share until they get the judgement for you. I had settled with the insurance company because they told me I could trust them. !! HA!! The lawyer got me $20,000 more and finally got my SSI. I had been turned down, but had I gotten the lawyer right away. I wouldn't have wasted all the years I did. Hang in there. It takes time to get through the system.
Best of Luck

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By Sue (Guest Post)
October 22, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Coreen,

Sorry you've gotten the runaround. An attorney can stop all that for you, and get the doctors to give him the forms he needs to get your claim approved, and get your thru all the "hoops" SSA puts in people's way!

This is a great group my friends have gotten excelent referrals for SSA. Please call them and go and see 1 or 2 of their referrals for a free consult.

Securing your future and your Medicare medical benefits are key to staying healthy. God bless and stay strong. The lawyer will make the claim go through.

Their small % fee is well worth it and they only get it if they get you approved! Plus, your benefits are retroactive, so you will start with a good chunk when you are approved!

Good luck and hang in there! Sue from CT -- here's the info!

Once you locate 2 or 3 attorneys from this referral organization, go in for a free consultation. Then you can pick a person who best understands you, and your situation.

Most people filing for SSA benefits have multiple medical disability categories to file with, so it's good to see an attorney and find out which one(s) are your strongest to file claim under. You may also qualify for SSI (supplemental security income) in addition to SSA! An attorney can tell you.

They get nothing if you get nothing (only some teeny paper copying fees) -- but a large percentage of folks who use a SSA attorney to file, get approved very quickly and get retroactive benefits from the time of their inability to work.

SSA benefits are very different from Worker's Comp or other things some folks have gone through. This program is 100% about whether you are able to work. My friends who have filed have all gotten approved when using an attorney. It is easy to make mistakes, not get the right forms filed, not have doctors cooperate, etc.

Once you get an attorney that disappears. Everyone "plays ball" and you lawyer gets the job done!

His fee is well worth securing not only your future lifetime security and benefits, but also your Medicare Health Insurance benefits you will receive! You may also be eligible for Medicaid (low-income health insurance) while you wait for the Medicare insurance to kick in with your Social Security Benefits.

This group is very reputable. My friends have gotten good referrals from them to great attorneys! Good luck! & ((Hugs))

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National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives

NOSSCR: 560 Sylvan Ave, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
(800) 431-2804 ; Fax: 201-567-1542

The National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR) is committed to providing the highest quality representation and advocacy on behalf of persons who are seeking Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.

http://www.nosscr.org/

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NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service

For help in finding attorney representation, contact our lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours: 1-800-431-2804
------------

Frequently Asked Questions --

(very comprehensive list of how it all works! Including $$)

http://www.nosscr.org/faqind.html

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By Mr.b (Guest Post)
July 26, 20070 found this helpful

I just got approved my ssi disability after two years and it took a lawyer to get this done finally. My question is if I have been receiving LTD from my ex-employer do I have to pay back LTD company from my retro pay?

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March 29, 20151 found this helpful

I had 1 SSN# from 1972 to 1996. I got new card with a change of birth year and my name changed, and place of birth to get away from my abusive husband who wanted to kidnap my child and take out of country. Now I am disabled and getting disability. The SSA cut my check by $500 monthly and wants proof of pay stubs or W2 from 1972 to 1986. I have tried the SSA and the employment office and others. What do you suggest? Oh, where I worked for 12 years 1972-1986 is no longer in business and the owners are deceased. Can you help me?


By Sonia

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By 0 found this helpful
December 21, 2017

I am 13. My mom pased away in 2014. She had full custody of me. She was on SSDI for mental health problems and hadn't worked much. I now live with my dad. My question is, can I get SSDI benefits for me?

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December 22, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can get survivor benefits based on how long she worked. Make an appointment with Social Security and bring your birth certificate and her death certificate.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 26, 2011

If someone is on Social Security disability in the state of Virginia, when they die does the widow have the option of getting his income as opposed to hers? I know some women get their husband's benefits, but does that apply to Social Security disability as well?
Thanks for taking the time to answer this question.

By Kateland

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By 0 found this helpful
March 24, 2008

I have a problem!

I had a heart attack and back injuries in 2001. I was not able to return to work. I was told my a number of doctors. It took till 2006 for me to get SSDI benefits. Before I had SSDI Benefits I had a long term Insurance that I had though work. They were paying me a monthly income from 2001 till 2006. It was based on 60% of my working salary.

When I started receiving SSDI benefits the monthly payments from the long term disability were cut so that the long term disability and SSDI would be equal to 60% of my salary of when I worked. This not a problem, I understood this.

My problem is in 2003, my wife did not like living with a disabled person. I made good money and I guess that is why she stayed, but she wanted a divorce. In 2004 we were divorced. My oldest son wanted to live with me. For this to happen I had to pay my ex-wife more money than the court ordered. I love my son and I wanted what he wanted. I was able to pay child support due to having long term disability and I wanted to take care of my children. So my oldest son lived with me until 2006. He moved back with his mother due to not wanting to change schools. I got married and he could have lived with my new wife and I but he did not want to move and have to make new friends.

This is where the problem begins. I qualified for SSDI in 2006. I lost the first time I saw the judge. So I had to start all over again with a new lawyer that was good. So the second time I won SSDI benefits going back to 2004. That is back to the first judge's decision of "no". The second judge would not go over the first judge's decision and I understand that.

So both of my sons were living with my ex wife at this time. So the back pay for the children went to my ex-wife. Now I was paying child support. More than I was ordered by the court. When I got back pay, it had to go back to the long term disability insurance. My ex-wife and I knew this from the time I started receiving long term benefits. I signed a paper to the fact and she witnessed it. Well she got the SSDI back pay and kept it and did not pay it back to the
long term disability insurance. The long term disability insurance said I would have to pay it back.

So I owe money that I never received in my name. My ex wife got paid child support and kept the back pay. She got paid twice for child support. Well I took it in stride and figured I would pay it back. My children run around in torn clothes and I have to purchase clothes for them to wear when they are my house, but I can't do anything about it.

Now a couple of weeks ago I notice I had a large sum of money in my checking account and it was from SSDI. I did not know why I would receive any money, that was all straightened out. I forgot to
tell you, I paid the back pay I received to the insurance company. I found out today it was not a mistake. The first lawyer that I had working on my SSDI filed an appeal for me and I had no idea. The judgment from the first judge was overridden.

So I got back pay going all the way back to 2001. Now my ex wife got back pay also and she will not pay this back to the insurance again. It is much more money. I can't pay this money back. I have not paid my
part back to the insurance company at this time since there was a mistake at the SSDI office. Now, my wife at the time, and both sons lived with me until 2004, this money goes back to 2001 and then my oldest son lived with me till 2006 and I paid child support and the backpay money needs to be paid back to the insurance company.

This is money that the check was never in my name. So I don't know what to do. I don't have the money to pay it and I do owe it. Please anyone if you know what I can do tell me. If you have anything for me to try please let me know. I don't know what to do so I am turning to all for answers.

SSDI will not help. They say the money is for future use. Also my oldest son is now 19 and my ex wife is still getting the same as she got for both children. I am sorry this is so long, but I wanted to tell the whole story. So please give me whatever you think. You may not know but it may help me.

Thanks,
Ron from LA.

Answers

March 24, 20080 found this helpful

The representative beneficiary (your wife) is responsible for paying back the portion that was sent to her, not you.

Appeal the decision for the reasons stated above. If it goes to a hearing, the ALJ will surely rule in your favor.

Also, contact your local Independent Living Resource Center and ask if they can help resolve this situation.

(I work as a contractor for the OHA as a hearings monitor)

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March 25, 20080 found this helpful

Ron, I'm not able to answer your question unfortunately. But I have gone through the process of applying for SSD and am currently receiving benefits. One of the most helpful sources of information I found was a website on MSN. The site is http://groups.m  abilityCoalition
My suggestion would be to post this question there and the site's founder, Linda Fullerton will help you find the answer.

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March 25, 20080 found this helpful

How about asking the lawyer who won your appeal and got you the money in your checkig account? He or she should know who can help you.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 12, 2015

I filed for disability a while back and have not been granted it just yet. I have listed many doctors and hospitals or facilities I have been to, but for some reason they have not got in touch with those doctors because when they mail be back saying I can appeal and all that it tells me who was asked and if anything was sent.

Anyhow my main problems are mental issues, but I so have some physical problems also. My question is, how can I win this? I have tried finding a lawyer, but I don't have the funds. I can't work and that sucks. It's not fun staying home all day doing nothing. The friends I do have all have jobs and they can't hang out while they work. I just wish I had some way to take care of myself because my grandma is paying for my food and such. Is there a way I can win by myself?

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By 0 found this helpful
August 12, 2018

I have recently found out I have qualified for SS disability. I'm happy, but I also have started feeling a bit strange about it. I have hurts and pain and hardships in completing tasks. They fully vetted me. I didn't cheat or anything I think I feel guilty. Is there anyone else out there on disability?

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By 0 found this helpful
October 6, 2018

My father was approved for disability, but passed away before officially receiving his payment and back pay! I was contacted by the disability company and was told I would be getting those funds. My question is does this payment go directly to me as the next of kin or will it be divided between my other siblings?

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful

My son was hit by a car last year and suffered a broken leg and major tissue loss to that leg. He is walking with a crooked leg and will need numerous surgeries in the future for the skin replacement. He can't run without falling. He has pain due to the weather and I have trouble finding him shoes that fit his foot comfortably. Does he qualify for disability?

By Sherry

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December 30, 20140 found this helpful

My daughter's biological father received SSI Disability. If the courts relinquish his parental rights, will she still receive benefits?

By Mary

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2017

A month before my kids' father got approved for SS disability he requested a DNA for both kids. Will they hold my kids' money until the test comes back or will he have to pay from the time his check got started? I also have fill custody of both kids.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 9, 2017

My ex wife has SSDI; she is the custodial parent. Will her Social Security insurance cover my kids getting braces and pay 100% of the cost?

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By 0 found this helpful
February 20, 2017

I'm the father of a 8yr old and I don't work; I'm disabled. So she gets SS monthly, but it goes directly to her mom. We're not together, but recently my 8yr old has told me that her mom keeps telling her that she's not going to get money for her anymore and keeps holding the money from her. When she asks for stuff she says no. I keep telling her that she still is getting money so that if she needs anything to ask her mom, but she keeps telling her the same thing. I have brought it up to her mom and she say it's not true. She just got a new truck and I feel that she is using the money on it. Is there anything I can do like, report her?

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By 0 found this helpful
April 3, 2015

My son turned 16 in March. I was getting mother's benefits for him. In November I got a letter from Social Security saying that I would lose the benefits if he is not disabled. I made a disabled claim in November. They said that was all I needed to do.

Well I lost a check in March, so I called Social Security. They said, now I need a proof letter from his doctor saying that he needs full time care. They did not tell me that for 5 months and they did not tell me they declared him disabled.

By Bonnie

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March 29, 20150 found this helpful

I am the youngest of 13 kids from my mother and father, and my father had one child from another woman he never married. I am 25, unmarried and the child, my brother, is 15.

My father is dying and I am in the process of filling out a disability application. My father's name isn't on my little brother's birth certificate. My father isn't feeling too well to go to the courts for the petition papers. Would it matter if I put his name on the application or not since his name isn't on the birth certificate? If my father doesn't make it in to sign the petition of paternity papers, can he, still receive benefits?

By lala loopsy

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December 9, 20140 found this helpful

The father of my daughter applied for and is receiving Social Security disability. We never married, but we live together we have been going through rough times and it's time to separate. Our daughter is 3. When he started receiving benefits they told him that our daughter is eligible. Well we are just waiting for the check. My question is now that we are separating who gets the money?

By Tania

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By 0 found this helpful
June 19, 2015

Does my SS Disability check increase after my children turn 18 and the family benefit expires? My children were able to receive minimal family benefits from my disability claim. They have both turned 18 and are no longer eligible. Will my monthly check now absorb what was previously paid to them, since there is no one else eligible to make a claim off my SS number?

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January 12, 20150 found this helpful

My father past away when I was 11 years old from cancer. He was receiving benefits and it stopped when he passed. People would tell my mother that she could still receive benefits for the children (4 of us all underage), but she never went to apply.

We are all adults now and some say we can still ask for those benefits, kind of like back pay. I personally don't think we can just because we are all adults. Is there any truth to that?

By Marissa G

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February 10, 20140 found this helpful

My son is living with his mother who is disabled. They both receive SS checks. If he comes to live with me will he still receive his SS check?

By Jeff from Leeds, ME

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