You must meet several criteria in order to qualify for SSDI. You must be insured, which means you must have worked and paid federal payroll taxes (FICA) for five of the last 10 years. You must also apply before reaching full retirement age (65-67), and you must meet Social Security’s definition of total disability.

Applications can be denied for a variety of reasons. Most often, the claimant is found to be working above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) levels, which means they earned above $1,070 per month in 2014.

SSA may also determine that there is not enough medical evidence of a disabling condition, or that a prior application was filed incorrectly.

If possible, seek more frequent medical treatment for your condition(s). Keep a tally of all the physicians you’ve seen over the years and a current list of medications. Give your physicians ample time to complete Residual Function Capacity (RFC) questionnaires on your behalf. Call us whenever there are changes to your medical treatment, or if your condition worsens, so we can request additional medical records.

RFC stands for “Residual Function Capacity,” and refers to the maximum amount of work you can do, despite your mental/physical impairments. The purpose of an RFC is to determine how your limitations impact your ability to meet the demands and requirements of the standard workplace. The RFC questionnaire is usually completed by a Disability Determination Services (DDS) physician, who reviews the medical records on file, but does not have the opportunity to meet you in person. We will provide you with mental and physical RFC questionnaires that can be completed by your physicians, who are most familiar with your limitations.

Plenty. Whether you are denied at the initial stage or following an appeal, contact us and we will help determine what your next step should be. You can appeal a denial or start the process from scratch by filing a new application. Our representatives will help determine which option is best for you.

The SSA receives hundreds of thousands of applications each month. It can take 5 to 7 months from the date of the initial application to receive a decision, and if appeals are necessary, the process can take several years. Applicants must be patient, but Citizens Disability will work to make the process as quick and easy as possible.

Independent studies have shown that your odds of receiving a favorable decision are significantly improved with representation. The Citizens Disability team of advocates will meet deadlines, file appeals, write letters to judges on your behalf, and accompany you to hearings — thus increasing your odds of receiving a favorable decision.

The amount you receive monthly varies, depending on age, past earnings and type of benefit. Click the link below to access SSA’s benefit calculator.

Our fees are determined by government statute. We receive 25% of the accrued benefit amount, up to $6,000. We do not impose fees up front and we only get paid if your claim is successful. If your claim is denied, you pay nothing.