FAQs About Social Security Disability in Florida [Infographic]

If you have become disabled and are no longer able to work, our Florida Social Security Disability attorneys are here to help. We will assist you through every step of the application and appeals process—whether you’ve recently become disabled or have already been denied benefits—until you receive the benefits you deserve. If you have any questions about Social Security Disability in Florida, please read our answers to these commonly asked questions or give us a call at 386-777-7777.

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Social Security Disability FAQs Infographic

social security disability faqs infographic

What is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability (SSD), sometimes referred to as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), is a program through the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides monthly benefits to qualifying people who have been rendered disabled before reaching retirement age and are unable to work due to their disability.

Who qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits?

Anyone who has worked enough to qualify for coverage and has a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a “disability” is entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. You do not need to get sick or hurt at work in order to qualify for SSD benefits.

How do I know if I’m eligible for Social Security Disability? What does it mean to be “disabled” according to the Social Security Administration?

In order to be considered “disabled” by the Social Security Administration, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Not currently be receiving Social Security benefits;
  • Have a medical condition that is expected to last 12 months or longer, or result in death;
  • Be unable to work due to your medical condition; and
  • Not have been denied SSD benefits in the last 60 days.

How do I get Social Security Disability benefits?

The process to obtain Social Security Disability benefits is extremely involved and often overwhelming. Many people who complete their applications on their own wait several months to receive an update on their claim, only to be denied. If you are eligible for SSD benefits or need to find out if you are, give us a call 24/7 at 386-777-7777 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer.

Do I have to stop working to receive Social Security Disability?

Possibly. In addition to the qualifications to be considered “disabled” by the SSA, you must reduce your number of work hours (and monthly take-home pay) or stop working entirely before you are able to apply for SSD. Whether you can remain at work or not will depend on your individual situation. In order to apply for SSD benefits, you cannot be working more than 15 to 20 hours and cannot earn more than $1,260.00 per month. If you make more than that while receiving benefits, your benefits will stop. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine how significantly you will need to reduce your work hours.

Can I apply for Social Security Disability if I have previously been denied benefits?

Yes. If you have been denied within the last 60 days, you can file an appeal to request a review of the decision. Filing an appeal and receiving a decision can be a much faster process than filing a new application and waiting for a new decision. If you were denied more than 60 days ago and have not yet filed an appeal, you will have to start the process over again with a new application.

Can I apply for Social Security Disability if I am currently receiving disability benefits?

Yes, you can apply for SSD whether you’re currently receiving short-term or long-term disability. In fact, long-term disability benefits may already require you to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

How soon will I find out if I can receive Social Security Disability benefits?

Once you’ve submitted your application for SSD, it can take four to eight months for you to receive a decision from the Social Security Administration. If you are denied and decide to file an appeal, it can take an additional two to five months to receive your next decision. If that appeal is unsuccessful, you can request a hearing before an administrative judge, where you can question witnesses and present evidence. After your hearing, the judge will either award you benefits or deny them.

If you are unhappy with the administrative judge’s ruling, you can request an appeal. However, the appeals council is not required to grant you a second hearing. The final stage of appealing a disability award is to file a lawsuit in federal district court. To have the best chance of a successful Social Security Disability application, you will want to file with a lawyer on your side. Contact us at 386-777-7777 to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced social security disability lawyers.

Do I have to talk to my doctor about Social Security Disability?

Yes. The SSA will base their decision to provide (or not provide) you with SSD benefits based on your medical records, so your doctor needs to support your decision to file for disability and you need to be transparent with your doctor about every condition you are currently suffering from.

What documents do I need to file for Social Security Disability?

In order to file an SSD application, you will need to provide:

  • Your Birth Certificate
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Alien Status (if you were not born in the United States)
  • Your Most Recent W2
  • Your Most Recent Pay Stub
  • Copies of Your Medical Record
  • Your Current and Previous Medical Providers (who have treated your disability)
  • Award Letters, Pay Stubs, Settlement Agreements, or Other Proof of Any Temporary or Permanent Workers' Compensation-Type Benefits You Received

Additionally, you will need to entirely fill out the Disability Benefit Application and an Adult Disability Report. Our Social Security Disability attorneys can help you throughout your entire application process. We know what the SSA will be looking for on your application and how to ensure you have the best chance of receiving the benefits you need. Call 386-777-7777 to schedule a free consultation with a Social Security Disability attorney today.

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