Frequently Asked Questions


What fee will you charge?

My fee is contingent on your being awarded benefits. In that event, the fee amount will be 25% of your past-due award up to a maximum fee of $6,000. This formula is in accordance with SSA rules. The fee will be paid directly to me by SSA out of your past-due award at the same time you are paid. If I am not successful in getting benefits for you, there is no fee.

What about costs?

Costs include what I pay out of my pocket to get evidence supporting your claim or to send correspondence to SSA, e.g. by certified mail. I will pay this cost myself up to $100. At the end of your case, I will send you an itemized bill asking for reimbursement. Any cost over $100, e.g. a doctors fee for examining you and writing a report, will have to be paid by you.

Who will be handling my case?

I will personally handle your case from start to finish.

At what point should I get a lawyer?

The earlier the better. Most people don't get a lawyer until they have been turned down by SSA and want to appeal. But, it would be prudent to at least consult with a lawyer even before you start your application. SSA has certain guidelines that they follow to determine if a person is disabled. Knowing what those guidelines are can be very helpful in avoiding the usual pitfalls experienced by most claimants.

What is your success rate?

Each case is unique. All I can say is that I win much more than I lose. Otherwise, I would not have stayed in this area of practice for the last 30+ years. Remember. I don't get paid unless you get benefits. If I take your case, it means I think you have a reasonable chance of getting benefits. And, I have a reasonable chance of getting paid

What will you do for me?

I will handle everything. As your representative, I will deal with SSA on your behalf. I will complete and file all papers for you. I will get the evidence necessary to support your claim. If you have a hearing before a judge, I will be there presenting your case for you. If you are found disabled, I will ensure that you are awarded the appropriate benefit amount. All you will need to do is let me know whenever SSA contacts you and whenever there is a significant change in your situation, such as you move, or you get hospitalized or change doctors.

What is the difference between SSI and social security disability?

A lot of people get these mixed up. Social security disability benefits (the acronym is SSDI) are based on your past earnings. If you were an employee, you had payroll or FICA tax taken out of your paycheck. If you were self-employed, you paid self-employment tax. These taxes earn you credits. Once you have earned a certain number of credits, you are covered for SSDI. The amount of your monthly benefit depends on how much you earned. SSI is supplemental security income. To qualify for this benefit you must be both disabled and have virtually no financial assets and income. Usually, people who apply for this benefit have not worked enough to qualify for SSDI.

Do I have a chance of getting benefits?

That's a hard question. Probably, the best way to answer it would be to call me for an individual case analysis. Basically, you have to be unable to perform any work on a sustained basis because of a permanent physical or mental impairment. Permanent means it has lasted or is expected to last at least one year. The older you are, the easier it is to be found disabled. This is because at some point age becomes an impairment itself. For example, a 25-year-old with a certain physical impairment may not be found disabled. But, a 55-year-old with the same physical impairment would be considered disabled.

Will you be available if I have questions?

Of course. You can call me whenever you want. If I'm not by my phone when you call, I'll return your call as soon as I can. The best way to contact me is by email. I read and answer my emails every morning.

What about children's benefits?

I do handle children's claims. There are two types of benefits available for children. One is for disabled children whose parents have limited assets and income. This is called Children's SSI. The other benefit is for children who have a deceased or disabled parent. If the parent had worked enough, their children can get social security benefits.