Please call (877) 261‑1947 if you have questions that aren’t answered here.
Simply stated, hiring an experienced advocate such as The Advocator Group will greatly improve your chances of being awarded SSDI benefits as quickly as possible. Your advocate can do all of the administrative work for you, so you can focus your time and energy on your health and family matters.
Call Toll-Free: (877) 261‑1947
Local: (781) 246‑8975
Facsimile: (781) 246‑9322
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (E.S.T)
The Advocator Group
101 Edgewater Dr., Suite 260
Wakefield, MA 01880
No. Receipt of private LTD benefits does not impact your claim for SSDI benefits. Likewise, if at some point your LTD benefits are terminated, the fact that you no longer receive LTD benefits would not have a negative impact on your SSDI claim.
Many employers, especially larger ones, provide group LTD benefits to their employees. These plans typically replace about 60% of pre-disability earnings in the event of a disability that lasts longer than three to six months. Most often, benefits are paid when the insured is unable to perform the duties of his or her occupation during the first two years of disability. After two years of disability, however, most plans continue to pay benefits only if the insured is unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which the employee is suited by training, education, and experience; a definition more closely resembling, but not identical to, the one utilized by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
SSDI, on the other hand, is a federal program that provides benefits for Americans who become disabled, whether or not the disability is work-related. Qualification requirements for SSDI benefits are strict. In order to be eligible, you must be unable to engage in “any substantial gainful activity” as a result of your disability, and your disability must be expected to last at least 12 months, or result in death.
According to the provisions included in most group LTD policies, your LTD carrier has the right to reduce your LTD benefits by any amount that you receive from SSA.
Yes. Children up to 18 (or who have not graduated from high school) are entitled to benefits if you become disabled. Generally, dependent children receive 50% of the amount of your monthly SSDI benefit, which is divided equally among all eligible dependents.
The average monthly SSDI benefit was about $1,100 in 2010, with a maximum monthly benefit of about $2,000 for an individual and $3,400 for a family. The amount of your monthly benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security and is reduced if you receive other government benefits, such as worker’s compensation (including Black Lung) or public disability benefits.
If your application is approved, your first SSDI monthly benefit will be paid for the sixth full month after the date that SSA determined that you became disabled (Disability Onset Date). For example, if SSA finds that your disability began on June 15, 2010, your first monthly benefit would be paid for the month of December 2010. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they come due, so the benefit due for December would actually be paid to you in January.
Unfortunately, the process of applying for and being awarded SSDI benefits can be extremely long. Depending on the number of appeals needed to get your case awarded, the process can take anywhere from six months to three or four years.
Learn more about the Application Process »
Our fees are statutorily capped by SSA. Generally, we receive a percentage of your retroactive, lump-sum award, up to a maximum amount established by SSA. Under no circumstances do we receive any portion of your future monthly benefits. Additionally, we only earn a fee if we help you obtain an award, so you can be sure that we are working as hard as we can to get your claim approved. Additionally, there are no hidden fees or costs associated with our services.
Unlike SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a welfare program. SSI is a Federal income supplement program that is funded not by Social Security taxes, but by general tax revenues. The program is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled individuals who have little or no income and provides cash benefits to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. If you have limited income and resources, you should also consider applying for SSI.
If you are receiving SSDI benefits and SSA finds that you are no longer disabled, SSA will terminate your benefits. SSA may find that you are no longer disabled if you return to work at Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) ($1,000 per month in 2011). SSA may also find that you are no longer disabled due to medical improvement. If SSA finds that your disability ended due to work at SGA level, its decision is effective in the month shown by the evidence. If SSA finds that your disability ceased due to medical improvement, its decision is effective in the month shown by the evidence or the month that you receive written notice, if later. In either case, SSA will pay your benefits for the month it determines you are no longer disabled and the following two months. These three months are considered a “grace period.”
Your benefits may continue if (1) SSA terminates your disability due to your work at SGA level and then your earnings fall below SGA within the Extended Period of Disability, or (2) SSA terminated your disability due to medical improvement and you are participating in a program of vocational rehabilitation or similar services.
You are required to inform The Advocator Group and/or SSA of changes in your work status, or if your health improves. This is necessary to avoid incurring an overpayment to SSA.
Yes. You will become entitled to health insurance through Medicare 24 months after the date that SSA determines that you first became eligible for SSDI cash benefits. When you become eligible for Medicare, The Advocator Group can assist you with your health plan selection and enrollment process.
There are several ways to obtain health insurance or medical care after your employment ends and you are waiting for your SSDI claim to be approved. Let us know if you lose your health insurance during the SSDI application and appeals process and we will help you evaluate your options.
If you are denied and you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal the decision. The Advocator Group will be there to assist you every step of the way, ensuring that all paperwork and appeals are filed in a timely fashion to comply with SSA’s strict deadlines.
Under certain circumstances, the answer is yes. Special rules make it possible for people with disabilities receiving SSDI benefits to work and still receive monthly payments, as well as Medicare and/or Medicaid. Social Security calls these rules “work incentives.”
If you are currently working and earning more than $1,000 per month, you generally will not be eligible for SSDI benefits and should not file an application at this time. If you are currently working and earning less than $1,000 per month, you may be eligible for benefits. Call The Advocator Group at (877) 261‑1947 to discuss whether you may qualify for benefits.
The Ticket to Work Program provides most people receiving SSDI benefits more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program, SSA issues tickets to eligible SSDI beneficiaries who, in turn, may choose to assign those tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational (work) goal. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment. You can find out more about the Ticket to Work Program at www.ssa.gov/work/ or by calling SSA at (800) 772‑1213.
It can take up to 60 days to receive your first check after you have been awarded. Processing time is generally faster at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, while tending to take longer for clients who are awarded at the hearing level. SSA can delay the processing of a claim for many different reasons and will not release any benefits until all necessary documentation is in order. This may include a copy of your birth certificate, citizenship papers, representation payee documents, or proof of other public payments such as state disability or workers’ compensation. We will help you provide these documents to SSA in a timely fashion to avoid unnecessary delays in processing your monthly payments.