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SSDI Evaluation

FAQs - Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

 Applying for SSDI benefits can be a long and confusing process. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

 Social Security Disability Presentations 

                   

 1.  What is SSDI?

 2.  How do you qualify for SSDI? 
 
 3.  Do I qualify for SSDI? 

 4.  What is Social Security's definition of "disability"? 
 
 5.  Is it difficult to get Social Security disability benefits? 

 6.  What is Allsup's success rate? 

 7.  Do I need a disability representative or disability advocate working for me? 

 8.  Why should I choose Allsup to help me get SSDI? 

 9.  What are Allsup's fees? 

 10.  How long does it take to get a decision? 

 11.  Do you have any tips on preparing for a hearing? 
 
 12.  How much will I receive?
 


 13.  Can Social Security take away my Social Security Disability Insurance benefits? 

 14.  Can I get additional benefits if I have children/dependents? 

 15.  Why apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits? 
 
 16.  Where can I get more information about Social Security Disability Insurance?
 
 

 17. Can you get unemployment benefits while waiting for SSDI benefits? 

 18.  What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? 



 1.  What is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program. Its purpose is to provide income to people unable to work because of a disability.

 2.  How do you qualify for SSDI?
You must be insured. That generally means you must have worked and paid into the program (payroll taxes) for five of the last 10 years. You must also have been disabled before reaching full-retirement age (65-67) and you must meet Social Security's definition of disability. Your full-retirement age varies depending on your birth date. Specific details are available here.

 3.  Do I qualify for SSDI?

Complete our FREE Social Security disability benefits evaluation to determine if you qualify.

 4.  What is Social Security's definition of "disability"?
Generally, it's being unable to work because of a verifiable mental or physical impairment expected to result in death, or has lasted, or is expected to last, for at least 12 months.

 5.  Is it difficult to get Social Security disability benefits?
It can be. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies 65 percent of the people filing initial disability applications. It also can take a long time, on average two to four years. 

 6.  What is Allsup's success rate?
Our overall award rate is about 97 percent* for those who complete the process with us.

 7.  Do I need a disability representative or disability advocate working for me?
You can apply on your own. However, a disability representative such as Allsup may dramatically improve - and speed - your chances of receiving disability benefits. As a group, our representatives have accumulated hundreds of years in disability benefits experience. The vast majority of SSDI applicants have a representative for their appeal.

 8.  Why should I choose Allsup to help me get SSDI? 

  • We will represent you at all levels of the SSDI process, from application through appeals.
  • We have a 97 percent success rate* and 30 years of experience representing people in their local areas.
  • People who use Allsup usually get their award faster, which benefits you.
  • We simplify a very complicated process and do all of the paperwork, collect medical records, prepare you for hearings and speak to the SSA on your behalf. We actively check the status of your claim on a regular basis.
  • We're here when you need us and we keep you informed on a regular basis.

  9.  What are Allsup's fees?
The SSA governs the fees of representatives. Our typical fee is 25 percent of the retroactive (back) award, not to exceed $6,000. We do not charge a fee unless we are successful in obtaining your benefits. And there are no add-on fees for travel, collecting medical records, etc.

 10.  How long does it take to get a decision?

Unfortunately, it's not a quick process. Generally, it takes about three to five months for the initial decision. Reconsideration (first appeal) will take another three to five months. The second appeal is before an administrative law judge in Social Security's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The average time to receive a decision at this level in 2012 was 353 days.

 11.  Do you have any tips on preparing for a hearing?
Your Allsup representative will thoroughly prepare you for the hearing. Eight of 10 of Allsup's awards are obtained without the need to see a judge (or visit an SSA office), which allows you to stay at home.

 12.  How much will I receive?
It's a complicated formula largely determined by the amount of your past earnings that have been subjected to FICA taxes. Use this online benefits calculator for more details on how much you can expect to receive.

 13.  Can Social Security take away my Social Security Disability Insurance benefits?
Yes. It doesn't happen often, but you can lose your disability benefits if your condition improves to the point that you no longer meet the SSA's definition of "disabled." SSA must show there has been medical improvement related to your ability to work before they can cease your SSDI benefits.

 14.  Can I get additional benefits if I have children/dependents?
Children up to age 18 or who have not graduated from high school are entitled to benefits if a parent is deceased, retired or disabled. Generally, dependent children of a disabled parent will receive about 50 percent of the disabled parent's monthly benefit. The 50 percent is divided equally among all eligible dependents.

 15.  Why apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits?

SSDI provides income until your condition improves, offers assistance to help you return to work and provides ongoing income if your condition does not improve.  You are entitled to it based on payroll taxes you have paid and your employer has matched. Also, when you receive SSDI, you qualify for other important programs like Medicare and prescription drug assistance, and protect your future Social Security retirement benefits.

 16.  Where can I get more information about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Review Allsup's information in our About SSDI section. Or go to the Social Security Administration's website. We also recommend a recent Web chat consisting of 61 questions and answers about SSDI that is posted on About.com.

 17. Can you get unemployment benefits while waiting for SSDI benefits?
The receipt of unemployment benefits does not necessarily preclude you from receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. It is, however, a factor examiners consider when determining whether or not you qualify for SSDI benefits. Some administrative law judges (ALJs) may not award SSDI benefits if someone is receiving or has applied for unemployment. Disability onset dates (the date the disabling condition began or the date your condition required you to seek SSDI / affected your ability to be employed) may have to be amended to the day after someone received their last unemployment check.

The issue with unemployment versus SSDI benefits is the difference in why someone receives these benefits. When you receive SSDI, you are unable to do your past work or any other work. Unemployment benefits generally indicate you are ready, willing and able to work, but haven't found employment yet. ALJs typically look at your individual circumstances when determining the significance of your application for unemployment benefits and related efforts to obtain employment when determining if you qualify for SSDI.

 18. What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a welfare based program. Monthly benefits are paid to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children, as well as adults, can get SSI benefits. If a claimant's household income exceeds $721 per month for an individual and $1,082 for a couple, or the value of their resources are above $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple, then they are not eligible for SSI.

 

Allsup screens applicants for SSI eligibility when we do the application. SSI is a welfare-based program for disability, and we are filing for disability benefits based on your past work and FICA taxes paid. You may not be eligible for SSI if you are over the financial limits so Social Security may send a general financial denial. We will still pursue your disability case as normal.

 

*97 percent of the people who complete the SSDI process with Allsup receive awards.