Social Security FAQ's

Social Security Disability FAQ's

+ What are the costs of filing for Social Security Disability?

There are no costs to file Social Security Disability claims. The only expenses that any client has are the cost of medical records from their doctors.

There is no charge by our firm for an initial consultation and attorney’s fees are not charged unless or until a claim is successful. These charges, if any, are approved by Social Security to ensure fairness. The fee is generally 25% of any past due benefit received by the Claimant but not greater than $6,100.00. If your case is not successful, you are not charged any fee.

We get paid by the government when we win your case. This means that you don’t have to hesitate to pick up the phone and call us. It means that you don’t have to put off getting the help you need just because you’re feeling strapped for cash.

+ How long do I have to wait after becoming disabled before I can file for Social Security disability benefits?

You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the very same day you become disabled. If you’ve suffered serious illness or injury and expect to be out of work for a year or more don’t delay in filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

+ If I get Social Security disability benefits, will I get Medicare?

If you are approved for any kind of Social Security disability benefit other than SSDI you will get Medicare after you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for two years.

+ I am still on sick leave from my employer. Can I file for Social Security disability now or do I have to wait until the sick leave is exhausted?

No, you do not have to wait until the sick leave is exhausted. You should file for Social Security disability benefits now if you believe that you will be out of work for a year or more.

+ Can someone win Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not win Social Security Disability (SSD)?

Many people can receive both. The definition of disability is the same for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD) and the appeals process is the same for both.

If you haven’t worked recently, you may not be eligible for SSD. You may still get SSDI if you can prove a recent disability and are poor. Alternatively, you could receive SSD and not get SSI. This usually happens when a person’s income is too high to qualify for SSI.

+ How does Social Security determine if I am disabled?

Most Social Security disability claims are initially processed through a network of local Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices and State agencies (usually called Disability Determination Services or DDSs). Subsequent appeals of unfavorable determinations may be decided in a DDS or by an administrative law judge in the SSA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.

The DDS will look at your medical records and consider your health problems, your age, education and work experience. It will be up to Social Security to determine if you can do the same work you did in the past. If you are unable to fulfill the requirements of the job you previously held, Social Security is supposed to decide whether there might be some other job you can do considering the limitation of your health, age, education, and work experience.

The Social Security procedure on disability evaluation can be found at

+ How do I know if I will be found disabled?

There is no easy way to answer that question. After you file your claim, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Georgia receives the case. This person, after consulting with your doctor, will make the initial decision about your claim. If the claim is denied, you can request a reconsideration of the case, which is then sent to another examiner at the DDS. Eventually, the claimant may request a hearing and the case is then sent to an Administrative Law Judge who works for Social Security to make an independent decision.

While you have no idea what the outcome will be of your case, an individual should make the decision to apply for Social Security disability benefits based on their physical or mental condition and their ability to return to the job.

+ What do I need to know about my disability?

You must be able to answer questions about your medical condition such as when it began, how it limits your ability to work, what medical tests and treatment you have received, and what they conclude.

You will be asked if you are working. If you are and make over a certain amount each month, you generally will not be considered disabled. You must be able to answer whether or not your medical condition limits what you can do. For example – can you sit, walk, and talk? Can you remember what you are told?

Lastly, it will be determined if your medical condition is on a List of Impairments that describe disabilities so severe that you are automatically qualified as disabled by law. They include impaired growth, musculoskeletal system impairment, and sense and speed impaired.

For a complete list of impairments please see:

+ If I am approved for Social Security disability benefits, how much will I get?

It depends on how much you worked and earned in the past. For disabled widow’s or widower’s benefits, it depends how much the late husband or wife worked and earned. For disabled adult child benefits, it depends how much the parent worked and earned. For all types of SSDI benefits, there is a base amount that an individual with no other income receives. Other income that an individual has reduces the amount of SSDI that he or she can receive. The Social Security Administration website provides a list of monthly income amounts on Social Security Disability.

+ How much will my benefits be and can my family get benefits?

There is a formula that depends on how long you worked and earned in the past. For a disabled widow or widower, the same formula applied to your late husband or wife. For a disabled adult child, the amount would depend on how much the parent worked and earned. The Social Security Administration website provides a list of monthly income amounts on Social Security Disability.

If you decide to work and want to continue earning your Social Security disability and Medicare benefits, Harrison & Fortier, P.C. can help you navigate the trial work period so you are not penalized for attempting to return to work. We hope you do not become disabled, but if you do, Harrison & Fortier, P.C. can help you file a successful claim and help you challenge any denial of your benefits.

+ How far back will they pay benefits if I am found disabled?

For Disability Insurance Benefits and for Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits, the benefits cannot begin until five months have passed after the person becomes disabled. In addition, benefits cannot be paid more than one year prior to the date of the claim. For a Disabled Adult Child, there is no five-month waiting period before benefits begin, but benefits cannot be paid more than six months prior to the date of the claim. SSDI benefits cannot be paid prior to the start of the month following the date of the claim.

If you were wrongfully denied social security disability benefits, Harrison & Fortier, P.C., about filing a claim.

+ Can I still get Workers’ Compensation benefits if I apply for Social Security disability?

You can receive Social Security disability benefits even while you are receiving workers’ compensation. However, there is a reduction in Social Security disability benefits which are offset because you are also receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In some states, the workers’ compensation benefits are actually reduced when the worker is also receiving Social Security disability benefits.

+ I got hurt on the job. I am drawing workers’ compensation benefits. Can I file a claim for Social Security disability benefits now even though I’m receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

Yes, you can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. It is best to file the Social Security disability claims as soon as possible because otherwise there may be a gap between the time the workers’ compensation ends and the Social Security disability benefits begin.

+ What if I was staying home with the kids – can I qualify for Social Security disability?

If you have worked five out of the last 10 years, you may have enough earnings to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. It depends on how many years you have been a homemaker. The only exception might be for those under the age of 31 who have not spent many years on the job. Remember, as a homemaker, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), regardless of your work history.

+ I was hurt in a car accident but should be able to return to work. Should I file for Social Security disability benefits?

Yes, if you expect that your injuries will keep you out of work for at least a year you should file for Social Security disability benefits.

If you believe you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits or have any further questions about the application process, don’t hesitate to call. Let our experienced attorneys get you what you deserve.

+ What makes a case a good case?

The best cases are those where the medical and financial evidence is extremely strong. In particular, the strongest cases are those in which your doctor supplies a thorough narrative. At Harrison & Fortier, P.C.,we make sure your application is complete and accurate before submitting it to the Social Security Administration.

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If you need immediate assistance or would like to discuss a legal matter please contact us by calling (912) 882-1131, or click on the Consultation button and fill out our short web form.


Harrison & Fortier, P.C.
239 East King Avenue
Kingsland, GA 31548
Phone: (912) 882-1131

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P.O. Box 3065
Kingsland, GA 31548

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