How-To Guide To Your Social Security Disability Claim

How To Guide To Your Social Security Disability Claim

There are two Programs:

Title II (T2):

  • Disability insurance benefits
  • 5 month waiting period
  • Medicare after two year waiting period
  • Dependents benefits
  • Benefits can reach back 1 year before application

Title XVI (T16):

  • Supplemental Security Income limited to Legal maximum
  • No waiting period for benefits
  • No benefits before date of application
  • No dependents’ benefits
  • Medicaid with no waiting period

You can apply:

(1) In person at local SSA office (T16 or T2)
(2) Online at (T2)
(3) By telephone at 1-800-772-1213 (T2)


(1) Not involved in “substantial gainful activity” since onset
(2) “Severe” medically determinable impairment
(3) Either meet a “Listed” Impairment or have a “Residual Functional Capacity” which precludes any work on a “regular and sustained basis”
(4) Can’t return to any work you have done in the past 15 years
(5) Can’t go to work in any other type of job (including very simple, unskilled, sedentary jobs)


  • Initial application with SSA
  • If denied, must ask for “Reconsideration” within 60 days.
  • If denied, must file “Request for Hearing” within 60 days.
  • You will receive at least 75 days’ notice of your hearing.
  • SSA has no requirement to complete any of these steps within a time limit.

Tips to Help Your Case:

(1) Get as much medical treatment for your condition as you can. Medical records which include “objective findings” to document your “medically determinable impairment” are a major key. Additionally, medical records should reflect the “functional limitations” which arise from your impairment; your doctor will record your symptoms based on your complaints to the doctor.

(2) If you move, get married, get divorced, take a job, have a baby, file a tax return – please let your representative know. This may affect your case.

(3) Keep track of your treatment information (Doctor’s name, office address, phone number and fax number) as well as your day to day symptoms. The Judge will be looking to understand your abilities in terms of sustaining activity for 8-hour days, 5 days a week. Abilities considered include:

  • Standing
  • Sitting
  • Walking
  • Lifting
  • Carrying
  • Pushing/pulling
  • Handling/fingering
  • Gripping
  • Reading
  • Exposure to irritants, heat, cold, dangers, noise
  • Handling stress
  • Retaining information/learning new information
  • Interacting with others
  • Maintaining focus and attention
  • Maintaining adequate pace


Contact our local office today to schedule a free case review.

Super Legal Team - Affleck & Gordon
Super Legal Team – Affleck & Gordon

Top 12 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability

Top 12 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability


Top 12 Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Social Security Disability

Filing for Social Security disability benefits can be a complicated and long process. In order to better the chances of your having a successful outcome, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake 1:    Collecting unemployment while waiting for disability. Some judges see this as a statement that you are “ready, willing and able to work.”

Mistake 2:     Not quitting work when applying for disability. Social Security is very strict about your “ability to work.”

Mistake 3:   Assuming you can’t afford a disability lawyer. We work on a contingency basis so there is no fee until we win your case.

Mistake 4:    Never checking the status of your SSDI or SSI claim. Social Security Administration is a large agency and it is not uncommon for paperwork to slip through the cracks, so you must keep good records.

Mistake 5:    Missing the disability appeal deadline. Be sure to find out the appeal deadlines. It is usually 60 days from the date on the denial notice.

Mistake 6:   Not preparing for a Social Security disability hearing. This process begins when you file an application. You have to tell a consistent story that makes sense and is documented by the medical evidence.

Mistake 7:    Not taking medication as prescribed by your doctor. Even if you have trouble affording medicine, you should always discuss this with your doctor.

Mistake 8:   Not alleging mental conditions which you have on a Social Security disability or SSI disability application. All the elements of your case work together to establish disability.

Mistake 9:   Not seeing a doctor for your medical or emotional problems. It’s all about the evidence. You must have a doctor who can explain your impairments.

Mistake 10:   Thinking you just can’t win. If you believe that you have become disabled, you should file an application for benefits. Don’t get discouraged if you receive a denial. You should appeal it and seek the advice of an attorney.

Mistake 11:   Waiting to file. It can take a long time before you’re awarded benefits due to the appeals process. To shorten your wait time, you should file immediately if you are not working or your earnings dropped below $1,180 per month as of 2018.

Mistake 12:   Not hiring an attorney. A disability attorney can help you strengthen your arguments, meet all deadlines, and use the law to your advantage.


AJC Claims Social Security Administration is Reducing Staff

See AJC Article:–politics/this-atlanta-woman-lost-her-home-waiting-for-disability/Nd0uGeSLLQD1bSYz6bHBKM/

Recently Chris Joiner wrote in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the Social Security Administration is facing a reduction in staffing at the same time that there are more and more people filing claims for disability benefits. He quoted a Judge as saying that SSA does not act like this is a crisis BUT it IS a CRISIS.
A person who applies for SSA disability benefits today is likely to wait 2 and a half to 3 years for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. Meanwhile that person is not working, is sick or injured, has a hard time seeing a doctor and is relying on friends and family.

We can help. Although we cannot speed up the system, we can help you strengthen your claim. Medical evidence which documents your conditions and the functional problems that you are having is vital to your claim. We will help you develop this evidence.

SSA has Listings of impairments which may support your case. We can help you identify and apply the Listing which describes your condition.
If you are facing foreclosure, utility shut off, eviction or some other situations, we can request that your case be expedited. Social Security puts all the burden on you to establish your case. We can help.

Written by Judy Bloom