Frequently asked questions about Social Security (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability

At Closson, Bass, & Tomberlin, we receive numerous common questions from individuals looking to apply for Social Security (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability. The following are answers to a few of those questions:

If you are just applying for SSDI, you can go online to the Social Security website and file the application. If you are filing for SSI, you will need to call your local office and make the application. If you are unsure what you might be eligible for, it is better to call the local office and make an application for whatever benefits you are eligible to receive.

We are not here to take your money. We will answer any questions you may have over the telephone prior to making the application, but we ask that you start the process yourself and call us if your first decision is a denial. We feel that if you receive an approval on an initial application, you should not have to pay for an attorney.

Just because your doctor advised you not to work or because you feel too ill to work does not mean that Social Security agrees you meet its standards of disability. Social Security will look at all of your medical conditions, the severity of each one, your age, your education, and your work background. Social Security uses its own medical experts and examiners to make a decision.

Yes, especially if you already know that your condition is expected to last twelve months or longer. You could be costing yourself benefits by waiting. Some workers’ compensation attorneys that are not familiar with Social Security will tell you to wait, but if the severity of your injury is expected to last over twelve months, we would recommend that you file.

Yes, there will be an offset in your Social Security benefits. As a rule, you are only able to draw 80% of what you were earning while you were working between Workers’ Compensation and Social Security and Social Security will be the only benefit to have the offset.

Most Long Term carriers require you to make the application for Social Security disability within twenty-four (24) months after you start receiving benefits or you will jeopardize your benefits. You will need to check with your Long Term carrier and see what they require.

No, not directly and unemployment benefits are not counted as income. However, keep in mind that you are telling one government agency that you are willing and capable of working and actively seeking employment. Then you are telling Social Security that you cannot work and should be receiving disability.

Social Security (SSDI) benefits can go back one year prior to your application date if they determine you were disabled during that time frame.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will start the month after your application.

You can work while applying or drawing benefits but there are strict guidelines for the time period you can work and the income you receive. Before deciding to work, I would consult with us here at Closson, Bass, & Tomberlin or the Social Security Administration.

Disability benefits will automatically transition into retirement benefits when the beneficiaries reach their retirement age. You may not, under federal law, receive both disability and retirement benefits at the same time.

There is a standard five month waiting period from the time you became disabled before your first monetary benefit will start.Then two years after that date you will be eligible for Medicare. Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) will automatically start the month you became eligible for Medicare but Medicare Part B (medical coverage) will start at the time you are approved unless you pay back all the premiums. You may not want to do that if you had other insurance for that time period.You will be able to pick a Medicare Part D prescription plan as well once your Medicare eligibility begins.