NOTE: Labels in bold are required.
I offer a free consultation, and my SSDI clients do not pay legal fees unless they win their claims.
Frequently Asked Questions about SSDI
If you have a question that is not answered below you may send your question to Attorney Pastor by e-mail.
Question: Do you have to be permanently disabled to receive social security disability benefits?
Answer: No. You must have an impairment that has lasted twelve months or is expected to last twelve months.
Question: How do I know whether I need a lawyer?
Answer: If you have a medical condition that obviously prevents you from performing all occupations you do not need a lawyer. A person who has no use of both arms would not need a lawyer. You do not need a lawyer if you are blind. Persons on dialysis do not need a lawyer to receive a favorable decision on a claim for social security disability benefits. However, many people who believe that they can't perform any occupation are denied based on a finding by Social Security that there are occupations that the person can perform.
In Texas less than one-third of claims are approved on the initial filing. Undoubtedly some of the denied claims would have been approved if an experienced social security attorney had been involved from the beginning. In many cases the advise and advocacy that an experienced attorney can provide at the beginning of the process can significantly increase the likelihood that the claimant will receive a favorable decision. Even in cases in which an experienced social security disability attorney is retained at the beginning of the claim, and the initial decision is not favorable the likelihood for success during the appeals process will be greater than if an attorney had not been involved from the beginning.
If you filed the application without benefit of legal counsel, and were denied it is highly likely that you need to retain the services of an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible.
Question: My doctor sent a letter to Social Security saying that I was disabled, but I was denied. Why would this happen?
Answer: Social Security under certain circumstances will give considerable weight to your doctor's opinion regarding the limitations on work related activity to which you are subject such as how much weight you can lift, how long you can stand in one position etc. These opinions and other information from your doctor can be crucial to winning your claim. However, social security does not give significant weight to a doctor's conclusion that you are unable to work.
Question: Is it possible to be paid for months that have passed before the disability application was filed?
Answer: Social Security will pay for twelve months prior the month that the application was filed if Social Security finds that your disability began over seventeen months prior to the month that the application was filed. Social Security does not pay for the first five months of disability. The five month waiting period does not apply to SSI claims.
Question: Social Security has told me to attend a medical examination. What should I do?
Answer: A Social Security regulation requires that information about your condition be obtained from your doctor if your doctor is capable and willing to provide the information that Social Security is seeking. In most cases I prefer to have my client's doctor perform any exam that social security wants to have performed.
Question: Can I receive workers compensation and social security disability?
Answer: You may be able to receive both social security disability and workers compensation. It depends on the amount of your earnings in the years before you stopped working, and the amount of your workers compensation benefit.
Question: Can I get social security disability benefits, and veterans benefits.
Answer: If you are receiving veterans benefits on account of a service connected medical condition the amount you receive from the VA will not reduce your social security benefit.
Question: When will I be eligible for medicare if social security determines that I am disabled?
Answer: You become eligible for medicare twenty four months after the first month that you are due a social security disability benefit. If it takes twelve months to win your social security disability claim you may be eligible for medicare when the favorable decision is issued provided that social security finds that your disability began seventeen months prior to the month that you applied for disability benefits. Social Security does not pay a disability benefit for the first five months following the onset of disability so the earliest that someone can receive medicare due to disability is the 29th month after the disability began.
Question: How much do you charge?
Answer: The usual fee is one quarter of the benefits that you are owed when the case is won up to a maximum fee of $5,300. There is no fee due unless you win.
Contact the Law Offices of Stuart Pastor for an Appointment
If you are looking for assistance with your social security disability benefits claim, I invite you to contact one of my three offices to schedule a free initial consultation.
Three Convenient Office Locations:
In Austin: 512-687-3443
In Dallas: 214-800-2022
In Plano: 972-599-2600
Toll Free: 888-616-6162
Or send an e-mail.