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Frequently Asked Questions

Soucie Eyberg Law, LLC handles all manner of disability cases, including Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, PERA long term disability appeals and more. Do you have a disability benefits question but are unsure if it falls under one of these umbrellas? Just schedule a consultation here.

The Social Security Administration has two types of disability benefits. The first is called Title II, or Disability Insurance Benefit. This benefit is based on your work record(or a spouse or parent’s, depending on the circumstances) and the benefit amount is based on the amount paid into SSA through taxes and contributions. The second program is Title XVI, or Supplemental Security Income, and it is based on disability and limited income or resources.

The typical SSDI/SSI can take from 18-24 months from start to finish. There are three main stages of the claim. First is the initial application, where you explain the reasons you are unable to work and give information about your past work and treating providers. 

That application then goes to a state agency (in Minnesota it is called Disability Determination Services) for review. A decision from this agency can take anywhere from 2-3 months. A majority of cases are denied at this level.

If your claim is denied at the initial level, we file an appeal called a Request for Reconsideration. That appeal goes to a different reviewer at Disability Determination Services. The decision again takes 2-3 months and again is likely to be a denial.

After the denial at the reconsideration level, we will appeal again by filing a request for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Prior to the hearing, we will work to get all your medical records updated and ask your treating providers for supportive opinions about your conditions and functioning.

It can take up to a year for a hearing to be scheduled. For more information about what to expect at your hearing, please see this information. After the hearing, the administrative law judge has several months after the hearing to make a decision.

In the event that the administrative law judge denies the claim, there are three options to appeal. You can appeal to the Appeals Council within SSA. The Appeals Council has discretion as to whether it will consider your appeal. You can file your appeal in Federal District Court, against the Commissioner of Social Security. Or you can opt to refile your claim and start the process all over again. The best course of action will be highly dependent on the individual facts in your case. 

Social Security Disability claims come when you are out of work, and most likely limited on funds. Fortunately, you can retain an attorney representative on a contingency fee basis. That means there is no up-front cost, no hourly billing and no retainer. The attorney fee in SSDI/SSI claims is 25% of your past-due benefits and the fee amount cannot exceed $6,000. If your claim is not granted, there is no fee to be paid.

No matter what stage your claim happens to be, you can still get competent representation from an experienced attorney to help you. The best thing to do next is contact Soucie Eyberg Law, LLC and schedule a free consultation.

You can absolutely still apply for SSDI/SSI without a current treating doctor. And you are not required to have insurance in order to apply either. However, if you do have access to healthcare, it is extremely important that you treat with a doctor for your conditions. SSA will be looking for objective medical evidence that supports your claim. This means that they will be looking at doctors' progress notes, x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic exams to see if it matches up with what you are claiming in your application. Some conditions that cause pain are not easily measured by testing, and we will take that into account when we build your case together.

If you are granted benefits, you can still work up to a certain point. SSA evaluates working while disabled by how much you are making per month. This is called Substantial Gainful Activity, and that is defined by SSA as: “[a] person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA.” The SGA amount for 2021 for non-blind individuals is $1,310.

If you have further questions, schedule a consultation today!