Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) provides benefits to disabled or blind persons who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on your earnings (or those of your spouse or parents) as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits. Your dependents may also be eligible for benefits from your earnings record. If you are awarded Social Security Disability benefits, you will be eligible to receive Medicare twenty-four months after the first month for which you are paid.
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) provides cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources. If you are a Florida resident and eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income payments, you are also eligible for Medicaid. As long as you receive Supplemental Security Income, you do not have to file a separate application for Medicaid.
The Social Security Act defines disability for anyone over 18 years of age as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. There are different rules for blindness and children.
The Social Security Regulations outline a five-step, sequential evaluation process to determine whether a claimant is disabled:
(1) Whether the claimant is currently engaged in substantial gainful activity;
(2) Whether the claimant has a severe impairment or combination of impairments;
(3) Whether the impairment meets or equals the severity of the specified impairments in the Listing of Impairments;
(4) Based on a residual functional capacity (“RFC”) assessment, whether the claimant can perform any of his or her past relevant work despite the impairment; and
(5) Whether there are significant numbers of jobs in the national economy that the claimant can perform given the claimant’s RFC, age, education, and work experience.
See Phillips v. Barnhart, 357 F.3d 1232, 1237-39 (11th Cir. 2004); 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1520(a)(4)(i)-(v), 416.920(a)(4)(i)-(v).
At Culbertson Law Group, P.L.L.C., we handle most disability cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay us any attorney fees at the time we start working on your case. If you are not awarded retroactive benefits, you do not have to pay us any attorney fees. If we are successful, and you are paid retroactive benefits, the attorney fee would be a fee equal to 25% of the past-due benefits resulting from the claim, or, if less, the maximum dollar amount allowed pursuant to section 206(a)(2)(2) of the Social Security Act based on the date the Social Security Administration approves the fee agreement.
In appropriate cases, we may agree to accept a case on an hourly or flat fee basis. At Culbertson Law Group, P.L.L.C., we do not charge for incidental expenses such as postage, long distance phone calls, or mileage. We will not charge you for any costs associated with your case unless we discuss the matter with you first.