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Guide to Disability Services

61 Questions About Social Security Disability Services

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Updated April 16, 2014

Question #19: Does SSDI stop when I become 62 or will it continue until I become full retirement age of 66 years old?

David Bueltemann: You will receive the full SSDI benefit to which you are entitled as long as you continue to be disabled. On attainment of your full retirement age (65-67), your benefits will be converted from disability benefits to retirement benefits.

Question #20: What do you advise if a person can still work but not at a physical job and cannot find a non-physical job?

David Bueltemann: It does not matter to SSA if no one employs you, it only matters to them that you are not disabled. They are judging whether you are disabled, not whether someone will hire you.

Question #21: I know that SSA has different critera for different disabilities. What do they specifically look for in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

David Bueltemann: It's complicated. Here is a link to our website with all the information.

Question #22: My doctors have said I am medically disabled. I haven't worked in over 10 years. My statement says I don't have enough credits in the correct time period. Any suggestions, or should I just give it up?

David Bueltemann Check with Social Security to see if you are eligible for SSI, which is based on your financial resources. You may be entitled to a retirement benefit at age 62, which has a different requirement for quarters of coverage.

Question #23: Are the same criteria that are used to award SSDI to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients used to determine if they remain medically disabled even if they return to work?

David Bueltemann: The SSA uses the same medical standard that was used to establish your original disability. SSA must show that your medical condition has improved and that this improvement is related to your ability to work.

Question #24: In addition to RA, does SSDI also still consider other health problems like side effects of medications, bowel probems, depression, and anxiety?

David Bueltemann: Yes.

Question #25: Is the ability to work the only thing SSA looks at? I'm currently facing a situation where it is work or everything else in my life. If I work, I don't cook, clean, etc.

David Bueltemann: If SSA determines that you have the capacity to work, they will not use a limitation in your daily activities to change that decision. In other words, they will only look at whether you can work that 8 hour day.

Question #26: People who are having difficulty working are sometimes afraid to apply for SSDI because of the horror stories about people who were denied and there is obviously no guarantee. How do people know they are ready to apply with a good chance of a successful outcome?

David Bueltemann: The truthful answer is to work as long as you can. Then apply as quickly as you can when you are forced to stop working to minimize the time between when you stop working and start receiving SSDI benefits.

Question #27: Can you explain how Allsup can help a person achieve the successful outcome?

David Bueltemann: What we do is make a complex application process easier to navigate. Our representatives have hundreds of years of Social Security experience. We will walk you through the process. You stay at home and we do the work.

Question #28: Do I understand it correctly that once you apply for SSDI that you may receive it the first time around in 4 to 6 months?

David Bueltemann: If you are awarded disabilitiy benefits at the first application, it usually takes 4 to 6 months.

Question #29: In the case of someone who works full time would SSA give more weight if a person tried going to part time first or does it not really matter?

David Bueltemann: If a person is working at a level of income of $1,000 a month ($1,064 if blind) in 2010 which is the Substantial Gainful Activity maximum, SSA will deny a disability claim without considering any medical condition.

Question #30: Does having private long-term disability insurance help to get approved for SSDI?

David Bueltemann: Not automatically. It does establish that you have a disability but the definitions of long-term disability and Social Security disability are different.

Question #31: If the application for SSDI reflects that you are working a 40 hour week, but you state you have difficulty with other daily living activities, you are still regarded as able to work, am I correct?

David Bueltemann: Correct.

Question #32: What are your fees for consultation? Does Allsup work in all 50 states?

David Bueltemann: We offer a free evaluation to determine if you may be eligible for SSDI. We also help people who have been denied benefits or are facing a hearing. If we think you may qualify, and you are awarded benefits, we charge a one-time percentage of your retroactive (back) benefits. SSA sets the cap at $6,0000, or 25%, whichever is less. We also do not charge for incidentals, such as medical records. We work in all 50 states.

Go on to Part 4 --- 61 Questions About Disability Services --- >

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