Social Security Disability FAQs

Those applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) have to wade through all kinds of strict guidelines and deadlines. It can be confusing and result in a denial if not done correctly. Karns Law Group's goal is to make the process easier. Below our attorneys provide answers to the most common question from our SSD clients.

What does it mean to be disabled?

To be considered disabled for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes you have to show:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

What if I have not worked in the last couple of years?

If you have worked in a Social Security-covered job for at least five of the last 10 years, you should be eligible for SSDI benefits. If you cannot pass the work requirement tests, have not held an eligible job, or have not worked at all, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

What is my "established onset date?"

Your established onset date (EOD) is the date that you became disabled. This date is important if you are approved for SSDI as it is used to calculate your past due benefits.

How far back will Social Security pay if approved?

If approved for SSI benefits, you will get past due benefits beginning the date of your application even if your date of disability was before your application date.

If approved for SSDI benefits the back pay will have a five-month waiting period from the established onset date (EOD). Another important restriction regarding disability back pay is that it can only extend up to 12 months before the date of filing. A claimant who has been disabled for years, but waited until recently to file a claim, can only receive past due benefits for the year before he or she filed the initial application.

How long does a Social Security claim take?

This question is difficult to answer as all claims are different. In some cases a claim can be won in as little as 30 days and some claims can take two years.

How much will I get if I win?

Monthly SSI disability benefits are set by federal law and are increased each January to account for a rise in the cost-of-living. If approved for SSDI, benefits are based on past wages and the amount of time worked. Benefits generally range from $500 to $2,000 per month, with the average monthly payment over $1,100.

What can an SSD attorney charge?

The fee is limited to 25 percent of the back-due or past-due benefits you are awarded. The maximum fee is set at $6,000. The attorney will be paid only out of your back pay or past-due benefits.

Learn more about how Karns Law Group handles SSD cases>