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FAQs

FAQ - Attorney

Social Security Disability

How long do I have to wait to file for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Although you must be unable to work for a period of 12 months in order to receive Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits, you do not have to wait 12 months to file an application for these benefits. You can file an application for these benefits right away.

How do I file for Social Security Disability Benefits?

An individual can apply for Social Security Disability Benefits electronically, online, from the comfort of their home. Alternatively, one can file an application for disability benefits at their local office of the Social Security administration.

May I work and still receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

An individual can work some and still receive Social Security Disability Benefits. There are, however, limits on how much you can earn and still receive disability benefits.

Is There an Attorney Fee?

An attorney must win your case in order to charge a fee. Furthermore, the fee is limited to 25% of the past due benefits only. There is no fee out of your future monthly benefit checks.

May I receive Social Security Disability Benefits along with disability benefits from Workers’ Compensation?

An individual receiving disability benefits under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law may also be entitled to monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

 

Workers’ Compensation.

Can I see any doctor I want?

Unfortunately, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company (Carrier) gets to pick the doctor that treats you. However, if you do not like that doctor, you can ask them for a different doctor and they have to honor your request. The Carrier gets to pick your new doctor as well.

What do I do if I am off of work and I am not receiving a disability check?

You can simply call the Adjuster assigned to your case and inform him or her that your doctor has taken you off work. If that does not work, then you probably need to retain a lawyer to file a Petition for those disability benefits.

How much does a lawyer charge in a Workers’ Compensation case?

First, a lawyer has to obtain benefits for you. The fee is 20% of the first $5,000 of benefits, 15% of the second $5,000 in benefits, and 10% of any benefits above that. Generally, the only time you are charged a fee is at the end of the case when the case settles for a single lump sum of money. There are exceptions to that, but they are rare.

Can I receive Social Security Disability Benefits while receiving disability benefits under Workers’ Compensation?

Yes you can. You cannot, however, receive 100% of both. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company can reduce what they pay you based on the simultaneous receipt of monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. Although the amount is reduced, you always end up receiving a greater amount from both sources than from just one of them alone.

 

Supplemental Security Income

Can I work and still receive Supplemental Security Income (SSl)?

Yes. However, for every $2.00 you earn, your monthly SSI benefit will be reduced by $1.00.

Do I get any medical benefits along with SSI?

Yes. You will receive full Medicaid benefits.

Can I own a home and still receive SSI?

Yes. You can own your own home and still receive SSI.

Can I own a car and still receive SSI?

Yes. You can own one car and receive SSI.

Can I receive disability benefits from Veterans Administration or some other entity at the same time as SSI?

Yes. However, for every $1.00 you receive in disability benefits from some other source, such as the Federal Government, former employer or a private insurance company, your SSI benefits will be reduced by $1.00. There is a dollar for dollar reduction in your SSI benefits for every dollar you receive from these other sources.

What other types of assets can I have and still receive SSI?

This is a complex question. It cannot be answered in one or two sentences. The asset limit $2,000 for a single person and $3,000 for a married couple. Assets that are counted towards that limit are cash, cash equivalents such as Certificates of Deposit, stocks, bonds and cash value of a life insurance policy. Please contact me for more detailed information.

 

Veterans Disability

Can a Veteran receive both V.A. and Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes. A Veteran can receive both V.A. service-connected disability benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits simultaneously and without either being reduced in amount. However, it is important to note that the receipt of one does not automatically guarantee the receipt of the other.

How do you determine what is the effective date of a disability award?

First, you must consider the date the claim was received by the regional office and, second, the date the disability in question first manifested or became symptomatic. The later of these two dates should be the effective date of the service-connected disability award.

How do I increase my V.A. disability rating?

If a condition that has been determined to be service-connected has worsened, you can file a claim for an increased rating using the basic claims form or by submitting a letter to your regional office indicating that your condition has worsened and that you would like it re-evaluated. lt might be helpful to submit treatment records showing the worsening of your condition.

Are V.A. service-connected benefits taxable?

No. V.A. service-connected benefits are not taxable and are not considered a part of a Veteran’s yearly earned income.