Social Security Disability and Appealing

Hopefully this resource page on social security disability and appealing judgments will help those who found they can no longer work and scared to death of poverty. You will find mostly links to great resources including the Social Security Website itself and where to find a lawyer

Remember Social Security Disability lawyers only charge a fee if they win your case and the Social Security sets the fee and withholds the money so no money exchanges hands between you and the lawyer.
Mr Jonathan C. Teller, a New York City lawyer was referred to me by nosscr. I was told by my lawyer to forgot about fairness and logic. He specializes in social security disability. I guess I learned years ago, men talk and God laughs. you can see that doesn't stop me from learning as much as I can. Why throw up your hands, when you have been given a head to work with. There is the other expression that God helps those that help themselves...

Our cases are vastly different so we won't necessarily easily find the answers we are looking for. Consensus is that on first attempt more than half on turned down on initial try...even with a great paper trail.
Mental disability has greatest chance. You certainly will get a lot of incorrect information so you might need a genuine lawyer whose primary practice is social security disability. Social Security sets their fees and limits the amount they can get..right now under 5400 dollars..or about 25% of back money social security owes you.

There are times when your attorney will have to obtain your medical records relating to your disability and may have to pay your doctor to get them or may incur on rare occasion other expenses. Those you have to pay for in addition to money withheld by social security if you win.

Even if you file late..say you haven't worked in fifteen years and hadn't known you were eligible for ssdi or were to proud to go for it..the most back insurance you can collect is one year previous to your filing...not fifteen years...I threw that example in because two people told me I was ineligible because of time elapse...NOT TRUE..just more difficult.

If you get turned down, you should go the appeal route..many people do and win. It is easier to win when you appeal...So two lessons, when in doubt apply for social security disability and don't let pride or doubt stand in your way. The longer you wait even when your case is legitimate the harder it is to win..your paper trail gets fainter..2. Prepare to appeal with a Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). A lawyer might not be a bad idea..they do not cost you anything unless you win and if you do hire one, social security withholds their fee so no money exchanges hands..

My lawyer, Jonathan Teller, a New York City lawyer who specializes in social security disability law was exceptional. He didn't promise me a rose garden and asked me incredibly painful questions and reduced me to tears and in so doing prepared me for the appeal.His website is which also offers information He also had an incredible understanding of what it was like to be bipolar which shocked me and knew exactly what he was doing. He sized me up and knew I had to have a friend accompany me. He also prepared an outline for the Judge which made it much easier for the Judge and collected the hospital records etc. I realized at least with my case, I would have been a fool if i hadn't hired a lawyer.

I am convinced if I hadn't had Mr. Teller referred to me, I wouldn't have won my appeal. He could probably state the process of what the judge was looking for and needed in his sleep to win the appeal!

You might also want to contact your local Legal Aid if you can get through to them. Supposedly they work pro bono. No hearing is held at this level, but the decision of the Administrative Law Judge is reviewed for error. About 1 in every 500 cases is reversed.

An appeal can be taken to what is called the Appeals Council if the ALJ decides against you and then to the to the United States District Court. These should be made within sixty days each. No hearing is made at either of those levels.

SSDI(Social Security Disability) requires a certain amount of credit earned for prior work, whereas SSI(Supplemental Security Income where you get Medicaid) is based solely on financial need, regardless of prior work.


Born After 1929, Become
Disabled At Age

31 through 42
62 or older

You Need


Social Security Rulings-check out if you are really into it former rulings if your case is very complex
Referrals for Lawyers


The National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) is committed to providing the highest quality representation and advocacy on behalf of persons who are seeking Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.

6 Prospect Street - Midland Park, NJ 07432-1691 - (800) 431-2804

  • attorney find...look in social security category
    Questions and Answers for social security disability SSDI
  • FAQ from nosscr
    " If you are approved for any kind of Social Security disability benefit other than SSI you will get Medicare after you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for two years"

    6. How long do I have to wait after becoming disabled before I can file for Social Security disability benefits?

    Not even one day. You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the very same day that you become disabled. Many individuals make the mistake of waiting months and even years after becoming disabled before filing a Social Security disability claim. There is no reason to file a Social Security disability claim if one has only a minor illness or one which is unlikely to last a year or more. However, an individual who suffers serious illness or injury and expects to be out of work for a year or more should not delay in filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.
    I got hurt on the job. I am drawing worker's compensation benefits. Can I file a claim for Social Security disability benefits now or should I wait until the worker's compensation ends?
    You do not have to wait until the worker's compensation ends and you should not wait that long. An individual can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits while receiving worker's compensation benefits. It is best to file the Social Security disability claim as soon as possible because otherwise there may be a gap between the time the worker's compensation ends and the Social Security disability benefits begin."

  • FAQ from nosscr for social security disability
  • More frequently asked questions and answers
  • Jeff Rabin, Social Security Disability Attorney
  • More FAQ
    Listings of impairments considered disabling listings considered disabling
    From the Social Security Site
  • Disability Benefits

    While eligibility for Social Security disability is based on prior work under Social Security, SSI disability payments are made on the basis of financial need

  • The Appeals Process
  • Publications for health and school professionals
  • for people with HIV
  • How we decide if you are disabled
  • How work affects your benefits
    If you work for someone else, only your wages count toward Social Security's earnings limits. If you're self-employed, we count only your net earnings from self-employment. In either case, we don't count non-work income such as other government benefits, investment earnings, interest, pensions, annuities and capital gains.
    Also, if you're self-employed, we consider whether you perform substantial services in your business. One measure of your service is the amount of time you spend working. In general, if you work more than 45 hours a month in self-employment, you are not retired; if you work less than 15 hours a month, you are retired. Work between 15 and 45 hours a month may be considered substantial if you work in an occupation that requires a lot of skill or you are managing a sizable
    Social Security Advisory Service
  • Social Security Laws
    Health Hippo: Evaluations of Social Security Disability
    Social Security Updates
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid government site for Medicare
    The amount of your coverage is also dependent on whether you have coverage under Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or both. Medicare Part A typically pays for your inpatient hospital expenses and Medicare Part B typically covers your outpatient health care expenses including doctor fees.

  • Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA):
    Based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2000 through the third quarter of 2001, Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will receive a 2.6 percent COLA for 2002. Other important 2002 Social Security information is as follows:

    Tax Rate
    NOTE: The 7.65% tax rate is the combined rate for Social Security and Medicare. The Social Security portion (OASDI) is 6.20% on earnings up to the applicable taxable maximum amount (see below). The Medicare portion (HI) is 1.45% on all earnings.

    Maximum Earnings Taxable:
    Social Security (OASDI only)
    Medicare (HI only)
    No Limit

    Quarter of Coverage:
    Earnings required

    Retirement Earnings Test Exempt Amounts:
    As of January 2000, the Retirement Earnings Test has been eliminated for individuals age 65-69. It remains in effect for those ages 62 through 64. A modified test applies for the year an individual reaches age 65. (The Senior Citizens’ Freedom To Work Act of 2000, signed into law by President Clinton on April 7, 2000.)
    Year individual reaches 65

    NOTE: Applies only to earnings for months prior to attaining age 65. One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the limit. There is no limit on earnings beginning the month an individual attains age 65.
    Under age 65

    NOTE: One dollar in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the limit.

    Social Security Disability Thresholds
    Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
    Trial Work Period (TWP)

    Maximum Social Security Benefit:
    Worker Retiring at Age 65 in January

    SSI Federal Payment Standard:

    SSI Resources Limits:

    SSI Student Exclusion Limits:
    Monthly Limit
    Annual Limit

    Estimated Average Monthly
    Social Security Benefits:
    Before and After the December 2001 COLA:
    2.6% COLA
    2.6% COLA
    All Retired Workers
    $ 852
    $ 874
    Aged Couple, Both Receiving Benefits
    Widowed Mother and Two Children
    Aged Widow(er) Alone
    $ 820
    $ 841
    Disabled Worker, Spouse and
    One or More Children
    All Disabled Workers
    $ 794
    $ 815
    you can get an idea of social security budget and projections of 2003 here