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Social Security Disability

LaPorte County Social Security Disability Lawyers

You have worked and Social Security has been taken out of your checks. Your health started to fail to a point that you could no longer work. Your family kept on saying that you should apply for social security disability - "after all you paid in your whole life".

Do I qualify for Social Security Disability?

How does Social Security define "Disability"?

What is SSI?

The Social Security Disability application process

How do I prove that I am Disabled?

How much do I receive if I win?

How do I meet a "Disability Listing"?

What are the Best types of Evidence for My Case? 

Questions You Will Hear At Your Disability Hearing

Why your medical documentation is so important?

4 tips to increase your chances of success in your disability claim

What is the best time to hire a lawyer for your social security disability claim?

You went to the Social Security office and filled out the application. About five months later you get a letter saying that your claim has been denied. In essence, the government is saying you can work and you have not met the criteria for disability benefits. You feel frustrated, dejected and overwhelmed. You are wondering how you're going to support your family and if there is anything that can be done.

What Can You Do? Navigating the Disability System.

The social security disability system is complex. There are rules, regulations and forms. At first you may have thought, well all I have to do is fill out the application, Social Security will get my medical records and I will get my benefits. The truth is that it didn't work out that way. You've tried to get answers from Social Security to no avail.

What exactly is Social Security Disability?

Social Security disability is a federal program that provides monthly disability payments for workers who paid into the system and meet Social Security's definition of  disability.

Social Security Disability (SSDI) claims start with the application process. There are three ways to apply.

Even though SSDI is a federal program the application process is handled on a state level. In Indiana the Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) is in Indianapolis. When your application is reviewed, a Social Security Disability adjudication will go through a number of steps. The odds are you will be denied.

Appealing the Initial Denial of Social Security Disability Benefits

You have 60-days to appeal the initial denial of benefits. Many folks attempting to get disability benefits retain a lawyer at this step in the process.


Social Security Disability is medically driven. Your lawyer must understand the underlying medical conditions and how they are impacting the client's body causing the disability condition. If you have any questions about your Social Security Disability Claim, Call Guy DiMartino Law at (219) 874-4878.

How Does Social Security Define Disability?

According to social security you are disabled if "you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medically

determinable condition that has lasted or is expected to last 12 consecutive months or result in death." Let's breakdown the definition.

The first term of art that we come to is "substantial gainful activity". This means that physical, mental or medical issue prevents you from being able to perform the duties of a simple, entry-level job for a 40-hour work week. In other terms, we can ask - are you able to take tickets at a movie theater? Would you be able to sit at a table or counter and pack small items for an entire workday? Could you sit a desk and watch surveillance monitors?

Social Security is not asking you to perform the responsibilities of your last job. Some private disability policies define disability this way - but Social Security doesn't. Social security only cares about whether you could perform any work reliably.

The next term of art that we come to in the definition is "medically determinable condition(s)". This means that social security will rely in part on your medical documentation. This includes doctors' records, laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging and any other specialized tests.

As a general rule, the strongest Social Security Disability claims have supporting medical documentation showing long term functional impairment because of underlying medical condition(s) or clearly defined terminable or serious illness.

The next term in the definition is based on time "12 consecutive months." Social Security Disability is not available for short term loss. The program is designed for conditions that are terminal or will last longer than a year in duration.

If you have any questions about your specific condition, Call (219) 874-4878.

Do I qualify for Social Security Disability?

You are eligible to qualify for social security disability if you have a sufficient work history and you meet the definition of disability.

Work History

If have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system within the last 10 years. Generally, you will need to show that you worked for a minimum of 5 of the last 10 years. The monthly benefit payment will depend on the amount of taxes you have paid into the system Most folks receive somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 per month.

Definition of Disability

Besides having paid into the system, you have to meet Social Security's definition of "disability." Medicare Benefits If you qualify for SSDI, you will be entitled to Medicare benefits 24 months after your disability date. For instance, if your disability determination date was February 1, 2014 you will be entitled to Medicare beginning February 1, 2016.

What is SSI?

SSI is Social Security Income. This program is available for disabled folks who have never worked or haven't worked in the recent past. SSI is a welfare program so it is also income determinative. If you qualify for SSI, your monthly benefit will be around $730. Your SSI benefit can be reduced if you have other household income or if you have more than $2,000 in the bank.

Under certain conditions, you are able to apply for SSDI and SSI, but you will only be able to collect the higher of the two benefits (SSDI).


If you qualify for SSI, you will receive Medicaid benefits for your healthcare.


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