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FAQs – Social Security

Q. What is an Administrative Law Judge Social Security Hearing?

A. Social Security hearings are held by a judge called an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearings are relatively informal and have no District Attorney or U.S. Attorney present representing Social Security. Some ALJs will ask questions, some will let your lawyer ask all the questions. All you should do is tell the ALJ what…

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Q. What should I do when Social Security denies my claim?

A. Most claimants are denied several times before they receive a favorable decision on their claim. DO NOT GIVE UP. Your best opportunity to prove your disability occurs with a lawyer at an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. You have paid Social Security taxes for years and should aggressively pursue your rights to get Social…

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Q. Can I draw private disability checks while also receiving Social Security checks for disability?

A. Yes. The terms of your private disability checks are contractual and control whether these payments are pro-rated or changed by the receipt of Social Security checks. Federal law requires full payment of Social Security disability checks regardless of the receipt of private disability checks for the same disability. However, most private disability plans have…

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Q. What happens in a SS disability hearing?

A. SS disability hearings are informal. The decisions are made by an Administrative Law Judge, most of whom live in Greenville, SC. The people likely to be present at the actual hearing are you, the Judge, a court reporter, and your lawyer. In some cases, the Administrative Law Judge has a medical doctor or vocational…

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Q. Does SS disability pay for my medical bills?

A. Not immediately. If you are receiving Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widows or Widowers Benefits or Disabled Adult Child Benefits, you must wait for twenty-four (24) months before qualifying for Medicare, which will pay most of your medical expenses. Medicare pays for doctors visits and for acute care in a hospital, among other things. You…

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Q. How long do I have to wait to file SS disability benefits?

A. No waiting period at all. You can file for SS disability the day you become disabled. SS law requires that your disabling condition either result in death or last for a period of twelve (12) months or more. Since the appeals process generally takes a few years, you should apply for disability as soon…

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Q. How do lawyers get paid for handling SS disability cases?

A. Most attorneys charge a contingent fee which is the lesser of $5300 or 25% percent of your back benefits. A contingent fee means that if your claim is denied, no attorneys fees are owed. The Administrative Law Judge must review and approve employment agreements before any legal fees can be charged. Most lawyers will…

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