Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Benefits
Tulsa Social Security Attorneys Provide Answers to Common Disability Claim Questions
Every case is different, but many of the initial questions about disability benefits are the same; with that in mind, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions our Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys receive. If you have questions not answered on this page or questions specific to your disability claim, we provide disability case consultations at no charge so that you can learn your best options to gain benefits.
Free Answers to Social Security Questions
- What is the definition of a disability?
- How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?
- How much will my disability benefits be?
- How long will it take to get disability benefits?
- How long will my disability benefits last?
- Do I have a right to appeal if my Social Security application is denied?
What is the definition of a disability?
The US Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a five-step sequential process to determine if you have a qualifying disability. The SSA typically considers someone disabled if:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s);
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or will result in death.
It is also important to note that Social Security pays only for total disability, and no benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.
How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?
There are three ways you can apply for disability benefits in Oklahoma. You can:
- Apply in person at your local Social Security office
- Apply over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)
- Apply online through the SSA website
Our disability determination page explains the process of filing for disability more in depth.
How much will my disability benefits be?
There is not a set amount, and benefits can be higher or lower depending on certain circumstances. Social Security disability (SSD, SSDI or DIB) benefits are determined by how much you have paid into the system and for how long. For example, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) allows for the maximum of $773.00 payable per month in 2016, but that amount could be reduced because of additional income or assets in your household.
While there are other differences between SSD and SSI benefits, each case is unique and the SSA will compute the monthly check based on your needs and qualifying disability.
How long will it take to get disability benefits?
You should know that applying for Social Security disability benefits is often a lengthy process. You should apply as soon as you become disabled, but it will generally take between three and six months for the initial decision.
If your disability application is denied, it could be another three to six months before there is a reconsideration decision and about a year until there is a hearing before a judge. Add on another two to three months until the checks start arriving. In all, it could be a two-year process from beginning to end. The government has implemented strict guidelines to reduce disability fraud, and the SSA does its best to ensure that disability benefits are truly going to those who need them most.
How long will my disability benefits last?
Your disability benefits continue as long as your condition has not improved and you cannot work. The SSA will review your case periodically to make sure you remain disabled, and you are responsible for telling them if your condition improves, you return to work or if there is a change in your ability to work. Learn more about your ability to work while receiving SSI or SSDI benefits here.
Do I have a right to appeal if my Social Security application is denied?
If you disagree with the decision made by the SSA, you do have the right to file an appeal, or a Request for Reconsideration. However, you must do so within 60 days of the date you receive the initial decision.