Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does it cost to hire an attorney in a social security case?

    A social security attorney generally works on a contingent fee basis. This means that the attorney is only paid when the claim is approved and no attorney fee is generally paid if you are denied benefits. SSA must approve all attorney fees and most attorneys use the fee agreement process that sets the fee at 25% of the past due benefits that you receive. SSA will generally withhold the attorney fee from the retroactive award and send it directly to the attorney’s office.

  • How do I know if I medically qualify for social security disability benefits?

    In order to be considered disabled under social security rules you must have a medically determinable mental or physical impairment which lasts or is expected to last at least twelve months and prevents you from performing substantial gainful activity. SSA takes into account your age, your education and your past work in determining what type of work activity you could perform.

  • What benefits are available under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

    In order to qualify for SSDI you must have had enough covered work activity to qualify for a benefit. The amount of your monthly disability benefit is dependent upon how much you have paid into the system. Once a worker has enough work activity to be insured, then many of the worker’s family members may also be eligible for a benefit. The categories of eligibility include: the worker, widow(er), surviving divorced spouse, and disabled adult children. Dependents of the worker may also qualify for benefits. Contact our office so that I can evaluate your individual case and ensure that all who qualify in your family are determined eligible for benefits.

  • What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs- based government benefit program for disabled, blind and elderly people with limited work histories who have limited income and resources. SSI applicants must go through the same medical determination as social security disability insurance applicants. SSI provides monthly cash assistance as well as Medicaid coverage in NYS. The amount of SSI you are entitled to is based on your living arrangement and any other income you or your family receives. SSI provides a safety net for people with disabilities and the elderly.

  • How do I apply for Social Security Disability benefits?

    You can apply online at, by telephone (800) 772-1213 or by going to your local social security district office. Many individuals hire me at the time of application, while some wait for an initial denial and hire me to handle the appeal. You can contact me and I can evaluate what is the right choice for you.

  • How long does it take to obtain a decision in my case?

    SSA takes on average 3-6 months to process an initial claim. If your initial claim is denied and you have to request an administrative hearing, the wait for a hearing can take over twelve months or longer. It is important to have an experienced professional guide you through the application process. I can help you navigate through all of Social Security’s forms and depending on the circumstances of your case, I may be able to significantly shorten the time period for a decision.