When should I hire an attorney to represent me?
You can hire an attorney to represent you at any stage in your claim for Social Security Benefits. However, you can easily complete the initial application for benefits on your own without any representation. If you receive a denial letter, it might be in your best interests to talk with an attorney immediately as you only have 60 days to file an appeal.
What happens if I am found disabled and am awarded benefits?
If you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits, there is a five month waiting period before benefits are paid. For example, if you were found disabled beginning in April 2015, your benefits would begin in September 2015.
I was denied because I was unable to prove my disability prior to my date last insured. What does that mean?
As you work and pay into Social Security, you earn "credits" through Social Security. In order to be awarded disability benefits, one of the requirements is that you prove you are disabled prior to your date last insured. Each person has a different date last insured, based upon your prior work history. This has nothing to do with any health or other insurance you may have.
I have been awarded SSD benefits, but I am now working. Will I lose my benefits?
According to ssa.gov, "special rules make it possible for people receiving Social Security disability benefits to work and still receive monthly payments.
A trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your trial work period, you will receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you are earning as long as you report your work and you continue to have a disability. In 2016, a trial work month is any month in which your total earnings are over $810. If you're self-employed, you have a trial work month when you earn more than $810 (after expenses) or work more than 80 hours in your own business. The trial work period continues until you have worked nine months within a 60-month period.
After your trial work period, you have 36 months during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month your earnings are not "substantial." In 2016, we generally consider earnings over $1,130/month ($1,820/month if you are blind) to be substantial. During a trial work period, a new application or disability decision aren't necessary to get your Social Security disability benefit."