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Social Security Disability Benefits


Many people have heard that disabled workers are entitled to disability benefits but have questions about the process of making a claim and collecting those benefits.

Q: Who can apply for disability benefits?

A: Benefits are available to disabled workers, disabled surviving spouses of workers, and disabled adult children of workers.

Q: What benefits are available?

A: If you qualify, the benefits come as a monthly check. If you receive disability benefits for at least two years, you are also eligible for Medicare.

Q: What does it mean to be "disabled"?

A: A worker is disabled when some illness or injury leaves him or her unable to do the work he or she did before, or to adjust and do any other work. The disability must be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. People who are partially disabled or who have short-term disabilities are not considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Q: How do I apply for benefits?

A: You can file an application on the SSA website, www.ssa. gov, by calling the SSA at 800-772-1213, or by visiting a local SSA field office. The application forms will ask for information about your disability, for the names of your doctors, and about your work.

Q: What happens after I file my application?

A: It is sent to the state Disability Determination Services office, which will investigate the claim.

Q: How long does it take for my application to be processed?

A: It depends. Usually it takes three to five months but can take longer depending on the nature of your disability, the speed with which your doctors respond to requests for information, and whether a special medical examination is required.

Q: Can I lose my benefits?

A: Yes, if you are no longer eligible. Cases are reviewed periodically to see if the person receiving benefits still qualifies. The amount of time between reviews depends on the severity of the disability and ranges from six months to seven years.

Q: What if I disagree with a benefits determination?

A: Whether it is a denial of a claim or a decision to stop your benefits, you can appeal the decision. In most cases, you have 60 days to appeal. If you are still dissatisfied after appealing, you may appeal further and can even go to court.

This website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining the website and its contents, Lucas Law does not intend to solicit business from clients located in states or jurisdictions outside of Illinois wherein Lucas Law or its individual attorney(s) are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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