If I am still working, can I apply for social security disability benefits?

Yes, depending upon what your monthly income amount is. In general, for 2019 if your monthly earnings are $1,220.00 or greater, you earn too much to qualify for disability benefits.

What is the difference between SSD and SSI? Which one is better to apply for?

The big distinction between the two is that social security disability (SSD) is based upon your earnings over your work history, and the amount of taxes you have paid into the social security system. In contrast, supplemental security income (SSI) is not based upon your work history nor earning and taxes paid, and a person can qualify for SSI benefits without ever having worked at all. Between the two types of disability benefits available, SSD is usually the preferable one that will pay a higher amount in benefits.

Do I have to be a certain age before I can apply for social security disability (SSD) and/or supplemental security income (SSI)?

No, but it becomes easier for an individual to qualify for disability benefits as they become older, especially once they reach the age of 50.

How can I determine what my monthly disability benefits will be if I am accepted?

Go to the social security administration website ( and once you log in, request your “personal statement”, which will describe the type and amount of benefits available through the social security administration.

If my spouse is still working, does that prevent me from getting disability benefits?

1) If you are applying for SSD benefits: No, your spouse’s earnings do not disqualify you. 2) If you are applying for SSI: Depending upon your spouse’s level of income, it may disqualify you for disability benefits.

Once I stop working, is there a time limit as to when I can apply for disability benefits?

Yes, under the social security system there is something called the “date last insured” (DLI). The DLI on most claims is typically four to five years after the person has stopped working.

If my doctor says I can no longer work, is that enough to qualify me for disability benefits?

No, the person who determines if you qualify for disability benefits will be the social security administration, or the administrative law judge (ALJ) for the social security administration. Your doctor’s involvement is to provide a diagnosis of your various conditions, along with physical restrictions, etc.

How long does it take to qualify for disability benefits?

There is no set time limit, and as a general rule the more serious a person’s medical condition, the quicker their claim will be processed through the social security system. For a typical applicant in the Jacksonville, Florida district, from the time they file their initial application for disability benefits, to the date of their social security disability hearing ( if the claim proceeds that far), it is typically 2 to 2½ years.

If I qualify for disability benefits, do I get health coverage also?

Yes, depending on whether you qualify for SSD versus SSI benefits, you will be entitled to either Medicare or Medicaid. The waiting period to qualify for these benefits also varies, depending upon when your disability begins.

My disability application was denied; what do I do now?

Once you have received your denial, you have 60 days to file an appeal. If you do not file the appeal timely, your case will be dismissed, and you will have to start the disability process over again. As this is an important deadline with legal implications, we recommend that you consult with an attorney to explain your rights as soon as you receive your denial letter.

If I hire an attorney to represent me on my disability claim, how do they get paid?

If successful, your attorney will be paid on a contingency fee basis, which is generally 25% of the back pay that you are awarded, subject to a maximum of $6,000.00.



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Gateway to Amelia - Gateway Commons II

960185 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 104

Amelia Island, Florida  32034

Telephone:  904-261-2848

Facsimile:  904-261-4476