FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I really need a lawyer to get disability benefits?
Absolutely. You need a lawyer. You need someone in your corner with experience and knowledge to help you navigate the confusing maze required to gain disability benefits. Without a lawyer, you could make a mistake that would harm your case and even inadvertently disqualify you from getting benefits. Filing for disability benefits is no time to go it alone. Sima Aghai and her staff have helped thousands of people get the disability benefits they deserve. Let us help you.
How long will the process take?
The answer to this depends on several factors and how they affect your case, but, generally speaking, from the application for benefits through a final administrative decision, it can take between 12 - 24 months. If your case needs to go to appeal before the United States District Court, that could add another 12 months or longer to the overall length of your case.
If I am awarded disability benefits, how much will I receive?
Monthly benefits vary by the type of claim approved and your work history. For STD/LTD, the amount of benefits are as reported in your plan documents and are generally, 60%-75% of your base income. For Social Security Disability Insurance, benefits are calculated using your 35 highest annual earnings and can be a maximum of $3,345 (in 2022) at full retirement age.
Supplemental Security Income monthly benefits are based on the totality of your monthly income and resources. Maximum benefits with the California state supplements are over $910 per month for an individual and $1,532 for a couple.
Can my minor children get benefits if I am disabled?
For Social Security benefits, minor children of a disabled worker may be entitled to auxiliary benefits, depending upon the benefit awarded to you as the disabled worker. The amount is approximately 40% of your monthly payment.
Is there an age requirement to apply for and be granted benefits?
Yes. For LTD/ST benefits, anyone over the age of 65 years, may have limitations in the period of time they are entitled to disability benefits. For SSA benefits, one must be below their full retirement age to be awarded disability benefits. However, different rules apply to different ages. We will be happy to explain how these rules affect your individual situation.
If I was denied benefits based upon my initial application, can I appeal?
Yes. Many claims that are initially denied are successful following an appeal. If your claim is denied upon Initial Determination, we appeal the denial by requesting a “reconsideration” determination. For LTD/STD benefits, once all administrative appeals are exhausted, we evaluate your claim for a possible lawsuit in United Stated District Court. For SSA benefits, we appeal any denial to hearing before the Administrative Law Judge. If that fails, we can file an appeal with the Appeals Council and even file a lawsuit in United States District Court.
What should I do first?
Contact us today at (888) 954-0064 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation about your case or fill out this evaluation form and we will get right back to you.