To be considered “disabled,” you must be unable to perform any job, not just your former jobs. To qualify for Disability (Title II) benefits, you must have worked for 5 of the past 10 years. Otherwise, you only qualify for SSI (Title XVI) benefits, which are substantially lower monthly benefits.
You can file an initial claim for social security benefits at your local office or even online. You do not need a Social Security Disability attorney to file an initial claim, only if your initial claim is denied. If your initial claim is denied, you have 60 days to file a “request for reconsideration.” If that request is also denied, you have 60 days to file a “request for ALJ hearing.”
Unless an “expedited” hearing is granted (i.e. due to eviction or foreclosure), it will usually take 18 months for the hearing to be scheduled, and the entire process can often take 2 years, so you will likely need the financial assistance of family and friends to survive while you go through the process.
Can A Social Security Disability Attorney Help?
If your initial claim is denied, you may need to seek the services of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. The Social Security Disability appeal process is a long one and having an attorney by your side can greatly improve your chances of winning your benefits. While not absolutely necessary, obtaining legal counsel at the beginning of your case can help ensure that you have all of the proper forms and evidence needed to file your claim. Contact our lawyers for a free consultation to see how we can help.