Law Office of Donna Thornton Green – FAQ

Question 1:  I have filed for disability on my own and have been denied.  Should I appeal?

Answer 1:   Failure to timely appeal may result in less benefits being paid later when your claim is approved.  Often times, people who file for Social Security disability benefits rely on the Social Security Administration to order their medical records and develop their claim.  In these cases, a decision may be made without all of the necessary information to accurately reflect the person’s limitations.  Consulting an experienced attorney and ensuring that all of the necessary evidence is submitted on your behalf timely will increase the likelihood of a favorable decision.

Question 2:  May I file a claim for Social Security Disability if I am still working?

Answer 2:  In limited circumstances, people who are working part-time, or with accommodation from their employer and earning less than substantial gainful activity (averaging less than $1040 monthly) may proceed with an application for benefits.

Question 3:  Should I wait one year to file for social security disability benefits?

Answer 3: No, although the law requires that you prove your disability has lasted or will last 12 continuous months, it is often times more advantageous to get the process started as it can take months and sometimes years to secure a favorable decision.

Question 4:  My doctor says I am disabled, do I still need an attorney to get my social security disability benefits?

Answer 4: A mere statement from your doctor that you are disabled is insufficient to prove your case.  An attorney knowledgeable in Social Security law will work with your doctor to present the necessary information to meet the legal criteria to win your case.

Question 5:  If found disabled, how much will I receive monthly?

Answer 5: There are two types of Social Security benefits, one based upon how much you have earned and paid in, and the other is need based for those without a significant work history.  For individuals who work and pay into Social Security, the monthly benefit is calculated based upon your total earnings, number of years employed, your age, and date of disability.  Thus, the monthly amount varies from person to person.  The higher the wages or period of work activity, then the benefit tends to be higher.    The need based benefit is known as SSI, and it is dependent on how much other income and resources may be available in the home of the disabled person.  The maximum SSI benefit for an individual is currently $710.