When you have questions we will have answers, To help you with finding some information today, we have compiled some of our most common questions. If you cannot find the answer to your question in this brief summary, please do not hesitate to call us so we can assist.
What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?
SSI and SSDI are two different programs that the Social Security Administration delivers to the public. Both are for are designed to assist individuals who are disabled. The main difference between the two programs are the criteria a person needs to meet to be eligible to pursue the application. For SSDI you would have to work and pay in a certain amount of taxes for a certain duration of time to be "insured." The SSI program is essentially a needs based program designed to assist those who have not been able to work for long periods of time of for younger persons and even child who have not worked at all.
What happens if I my initial application gets denied?
Filing your initial claim is a daunting task to take on and file yourself. Reports from Social Security show that the likelihood of an initial claim being denied is about 65% nationally. Luckily, most of denied claims are due to a person missing details or key information. We can not only help you with the initial claim, but if you are denied, you have appeal rights and we can help you through that process as well.
How much will it cost?
You will only pay the agreed upon fees if your claim is approved. Federal law restricts representatives from collecting a retaining fee, so there is no up front cost to you. If your claim is approved SSA will calculate the fee and pay it to the representative. This fee can only be paid from past due benefits and is restricted from exceeding certain dollar amounts established by SSA.
How long will a decision take?
SSA's processing time can vary depending on the scope of the claim, However based on our experience an initial claim is processed in about 3-5 months. If your claim is denied, and once you request a hearing in from a Administrative Law Judge, it can take up to 18-24 months to attend your hearing. If this is the case for you, do not wait, please contact us right away so we can assist.
RETIREMENT/SOCIAL SECURITY FAQS
Can I claim benefits from a spouse?
It is certainly possible. SSA has closed some of the loopholes in regard to how you can file for spousal benefits. However they do still exist and they certainly worth looking into if you think you are entitled. You may even be able to file as a previous, ex spouse, or even a widow/widower.
Can I work and collect my retirement?
You can work and still collect your retirement benefits. Every year SSA set a new threshold on how much you can work and earn to collect all of your benefits. Historically this threshold goes up every year on average of $400-$800 dollars. In 2019 the threshold is set at $17,640.00. You can work and earn over this amount but your benefits will be subject to a reduction process.
Are my SSA benefits subject to a tax?
Any benefit paid from SSA could be subject to a federal income tax. The IRS will consider this an unearned source of income and will place it along with all of your other assets and liabilities. If all of those combined are under certain thresholds, you will not have to pay taxes on the benefits SSA pays to you.
Can I file for Retirement and Disability at the Same Time?
In short, yes. The Retirement program and the Disability program are governed by two different sets of laws, are paid for by two different sets of trust funds and have two different sets of rubrics to be entitled to benefits. If you meet the criteria for both programs you can file for both simultaneously and essentially be paid your retirement benefits as you pursue your disability application. This is something can be a huge advantage for some people. If this si something you are considering, please call us so we can go through the details of how this can work for you.