Pulgini Law  

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Readville, MA 02137

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Social Security

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Also known as Title II or DIB (Disability Insurance Benefits), SSDI is a Federal program that provides a monthly cash benefit to disabled workers and eligible family members.

Who is eligible for SSDI?
If you work long enough at a job where you paid Social Security taxes and become disabled, you are probably eligible for disability benefits and should apply. You can check your eligibility on your Social Security Statement.  (for people over 30 years old, you need to have worked 5 out of the ten years prior to the date of disability or 20 out of the last 40 quarters. This requirement period may be shorter if you are a younger person).

What factors are considered in determining eligibility for SSDI Benefits?
If you meet the earnings requirement, then a determination will be made based upon the severity of your disabling condition and your capability to perform ANY job for which you are reasonably suited within the national, regional, or local economy. Social Security does take into account your age, education, work experience, training, and any other specials skill which you may possess. Proof of total disability must be supported by competent medical documentation.

Can I get Social Security disability benefits based on a combination of medical impairments?
Yes. Most claimants for Social Security disability benefits have more than one health problem and the combined effects of all of the health problems must be considered.

When should I apply?
If your disability is expected to last for at least a year and you can not work, you should apply for your social security disability benefits immediately. Although there is a five month waiting period for benefits with DIB, waiting a year or longer to apply could cost you benefits you would otherwise be receiving.

What Is the Amount of an SSDI Benefit?
An SSDI Benefit is calculated using a formula similar to that used for Social Security retirement benefits The exact amount of an SSDI Benefit is based on the disabled worker's age, level of earnings, and time in the work force.

Which Family members may be eligible for SSDI Benefits?
Any dependant children under the age of 18 or still in high school.

Can I apply for SSDI if I am collecting Workers’ Compensation?
Yes, however, there may be an offset in the amount of SSDI you collect if you are awarded SSDI benefits while collecting Workers’ Compensation but you can collect both.

How can I apply or submit a claim for Social Security disability benefits?
By law, anyone may file for his or her own Social Security Disability benefits either by going to their local Social Security Administration office, calling Social Security, or online at SSA.gov, but statistics clearly show that claimants who have representation win their benefits much more often than those who apply on their own.

How can an attorney help me with my claim?
The government makes the process very difficult. Lines at the local offices are long. Calls go unanswered. The forms are complicated. There are deadlines for denials. Benefits are often denied to people who have legitimate claims at least once, but more likely twice. An attorney will help keep your claim on track. They will make sure your medical records are received and all deadlines are met. If you have to go to Hearing, an attorney will know what information the Judge will be looking for and the best possible way to present your claim.

How does an attorney get paid?
Cases are generally handled on a contingency basis. That means the representative receives a fee only if you win your case. The fee is 25% of your past due benefits not to exceed $5,300 and this is paid directly to your attorney from Social Security. If you do not win your case there is no fee.

Will I be eligible for Health Insurance?
Once you have been receiving Benefits for a period of 24 months you will be eligible for Medicare health insurance.

What is Medicare Health Insurance?
Medicare is the federal government program that gives you health care coverage if you are 65 or older, or have a disability, no matter what your income.



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