Unfortunately, very few people think about what to do when they become disabled until it happens to them. Los Angeles disability attorney Roy Manukyan has been handling disability cases for over a decade and has expertise in the area.
Below are frequently asked questions about the Social Security Disability process, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
How Much Money Will I Get?
This depends on the program you apply to.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payment amounts are based on the amount of taxes you have paid. You can find out how much you are eligible for by checking on the Social Security website (see our blog post [here]).
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for low-income individuals. The maximum payment in the state of California is $943.72 (this amount varies state to state).
You can receive both SSDI and SSI payments up to the SSI maximum.
How Long Until I Am Approved?
The process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (or longer). There are several steps in the process:
Initial Application. The first step is to file an application. It usually takes 4-6 months to get a response.
Reconsideration. If your initial application is denied, the next step is to appeal for reconsideration. It will take another 4-6 months to get a response.
Hearing with a Judge. If your reconsideration is denied, you must apply to argue your case before an Administrative Law Judge. It takes about a year to get a hearing date.
So, the total time until your case is heard by a Judge is around 2 years.
Is Money Assistance Available While I Wait?
There are government assistance programs available to help while you wait. Please contact your local government welfare office to determine your eligibility.
The most common programs applicants apply for in California are General Relief and CalFresh.
My Doctor Says I Can’t Work. I Should Be Approved, Right?
No. Social Security has its own definition of “disabled.” Although your doctor may tell you that you are unable to work, Social Security does not have to accept your doctor’s opinion as fact.
Do I Get Any Other Benefits If I Am Approved?
Yes. If you get approved for SSDI, you will become eligible for Medicare after a waiting period.
If you are approved for SSI, you will receive health benefits through Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California).
How Do I Prove Disability?
Our recommendation is to see as many doctors as possible as often as you can to help prove your case. The more medical evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.
How Much Does A Lawyer Cost?
Social Security Disability lawyers do not take any money until your case is won. They work free of charge until you get paid.