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Social Security Disability FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability

What is Social Security disability?

If you are not able to work due to an injury, illness, or other disability that is likely to last at least 12 months or result in death, the Social Security Administration may provide financial assistance through the Social Security disability (SSD) program. This is like insurance for workers and is funded by all workers’ Social Security paycheck taxes. In order to receive benefits, applicants must meet certain work history criteria and demonstrate they are not able to perform any type of work for an extended period of time (12 months or longer).

How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?

The typical application processing time for a disability claim can take three to five months or more, so it is important that you apply for SSD benefits as soon as you are aware that you have a condition that will prevent you from working for 12 months or more. You can apply for disability by visiting your local Social Security office, calling the Social Security Administration’s toll-free phone number at (800) 772-1213, or online at Before applying, you need to gather all the information you can about your condition including medical records, lab & diagnostic imaging results, and the names/contact information of the physicians who have treated you. You will also need your Social Security Number, proof of your age, your employment history, and your most recent tax return.

Are Social Security disability benefits difficult to obtain?

Receiving SSD benefits can be a long, difficult process often involving turn-downs and appeals. Even though you are not required to retain an attorney for your Social Security disability claim, we highly recommend that you get help with this complex process. The Social Security Administration strictly defines “disability” and requires medical evidence proving you are not able to perform work of any kind. Just because you can no longer perform your old job does not mean you will win your disability claim.

How do I win my Social Security disability case?

In order to win your SSD case, you must present evidence to the Social Security Administration proving that the physical or mental conditions from which you suffer prevent you from maintaining any type of employment for an extended period of time (12 months or more). The evidence needed to win your case includes medical records, physician statements, medication information, and other proof that your disability is severe enough to prevent employment. Without good medical records, you will have a difficult time winning your disability case.

Should I file for unemployment while waiting for my SSD benefits?

If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, you should not apply for unemployment benefits. As part of the unemployment application process, you certify that you are mentally and physically able to work–which is completely opposite of your claims for disability benefits. In most cases, if you receive unemployment for any time period that you claim to have been disabled, you will likely not receive disability benefits.

How long does it take to receive SSD benefits?

Unfortunately, obtaining Social Security disability benefits can take several months up to a year or more. The process often involves turn-downs and appeals—keeping your case backlogged in the system for months awaiting hearings and decisions. This means those who desperately need disability benefits often find themselves struggling to make ends meet during this long, tedious process. Keep in mind, if you win your disability case, you should receive past-due benefits.

What happens when I win my Social Security disability case?

When you win your Social Security disability case, you will begin receiving regular payments for your claim. You should also receive past-due benefits. If you have questions, contact Social Security disability lawyer Flora Templeton Stuart.

What happens if I am denied Social Security disability benefits?

If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, don’t give up. Most disability claims are denied initially. If you have been denied disability, you should immediately retain an experienced disability lawyer to help you file an appeal. There are several points in a disability case where you may need to file an appeal. If you are denied after filing an initial disability application, you can appeal through a Request for Reconsideration. If the reconsideration is denied, you may request to have a hearing before an administrative law judge who will review the evidence of your disability and issue a judgment. If the judgment is not favorable, you may have additional options to appeal.

You only have a limited amount of time to appeal at each stage of the process. If you miss a deadline, you may need to start your case over again by reapplying for benefits. Contact our disability attorneys for more information on appealing for disability benefits.

How do I obtain medical treatment for my disability if I don’t have insurance?

At the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart, we assist our disabled clients in obtaining medical treatment—even if they don’t have insurance. We help our clients find physicians, community centers, hospitals, and mental health centers so they can obtain the treatment they desperately need and so we can document their conditions and build a strong disability case.

How do I pay for my prescription medications if I don’t have insurance?

We can assist our disabled clients in getting help to purchase prescriptions even if they do not have insurance.

Why do I need a disability lawyer for my case?

The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart works hard to put security back into Social Security disability for our disabled clients. Getting a favorable outcome for your SSD case can be challenging—especially if you are trying to navigate this difficult process on your own. Our disability lawyers will meet with you personally, help you file the appropriate paperwork, gather medical records and other evidence of your condition, file appeals, prepare you for your disability hearing, and stand up for your rights each step of the way. We know what it takes to win disability benefits for our clients, and we can help you. If you are disabled and have wrongly been denied Social Security disability benefits, it is important to retain an experienced SSD attorney knowledgeable with Kentucky law.

How do I pay for an attorney in my Social Security disability case?

The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart works on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid if you get paid in your SSD case. Federal law mandates that disability lawyers are only paid from your past-due disability benefits. There are no fees, costs or expenses unless we win your disability case and recover the benefits you deserve. Call Warren and Barren County, Kentucky Social Security disability attorney Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090 for a free initial consultation twenty-four hours a day/seven days a week.