Frequently asked questions:
- How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) define Disability?
SSA defines Disability as the "inability to engage in
substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable
physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or
has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less
than 12 months".
- What is the difference between Social Security
Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSDI is for individuals who have paid a
certain amount of Social Security tax over a period of time. You must
have paid enough in that you are insured by SSDI. In a nutshell, you
must have worked 5 out of the last 10 years before you became disabled.
(Always check with SSA to figure out your eligibility and if you may apply.
You must also meet SSA rules for Disability. Individuals on SSDI are
eligible for Medicare after two years.
SSI is for individuals who have not paid into the Social
Security system or have not paid enough in. This program is based on
financial need, therefore SSA considers the income and resources of everyone
living in your home. They also take into account the support provided
(free Room and Board, etc.) Children under 18 who are disabled
according to SSA can get SSI if their family income is low enough. You
must also meet SSA rules for disability. Individuals on SSI are
eligible for Medicaid.
- How long will the Disability Claim process take?
There are three main levels in the Disability Claim process:
1. Initial Application - usually
takes 2-6 months
2. Reconsideration - usually takes
3. Administrative Law Judge Hearing -
It usually takes 12 to 18
months to go
to a hearing after the second appeal.
4. If the ALJ hearing is denied, you
can appeal to the
How does a Representative Get Paid?
RDS charges 25% of the individual's back pay up to a maximum
set forth by the SSA (currently $6,000.00). RDS is eligible for Fee
Withholding by SSA and are paid by SS when the case is won. There is
no charge for Medical Records, phone calls, etc. If we don't win your
case, you don't pay anything.