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Unlocking Social Security Disability Benefits 

Are you grappling with a debilitating physical or emotional condition that impedes work? You may be eligible for federal Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Although many people associate Social Security solely with retired workers, Social Security provides protection well beyond ‘old age and retirement’. Social Security can protect US citizens from income shortage due to factors such as old age, disability, and even unemployment. However, securing benefits based on your disability is a challenging task. 


  • About 78% of the 2.5 million applicants are initially denied benefits annually. 
  • The backlog in the appeals process often results in a waiting period of at least 17 months for an appeal hearing (an actual hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge)
  • Almost 2 million people apply for Social Security Disability each year! 

Social Security Disability Insurance application sitting on a desk.

Am I Eligible for Social Security Benefits?

The federal Social Security program safeguards against poverty, old age, disability, unemployment, and more. The laws governing disability benefits are complex. Here’s an overview of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program Factors:

  • Eligibility: To begin, you have to have paid into the system. You must have worked for a specific duration (typically twenty out of forty (20/40) quarters or five out of the past ten years in any combination) to be eligible.
  • Disability: If eligible to apply, you then must prove you are disabled under the specific definition of disability in the Social Security Law. Basically, you must show that you have a severe physical or emotional disability that prevents you from working (for at least twelve (12) months or result in death).

§ 404.1505. Basic definition of disability.

(a) The law defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. To meet this definition, you must have a severe impairment(s) that makes you unable to do your past relevant work ( see §404.1560(b)) or any other substantial gainful work that exists in the national economy.

  • Proof: Medical Evidence (reports and medical tests) is what you need to have a successful case. You must present a doctor’s report and other medical evidence proving your inability to work and any potential limitations. Doctors need to comment about how your conditions limit your activities of daily living and impact your ability to do things like walk, stand, sit, and concentrate. 

What are the benefits I can get (is it worth it -yes!)? 

If you are successful, you will receive:

  • A monthly benefit based on what you have paid into the system (you can check out your account at and see what your potential monthly benefit will be – the average benefit is around $1500 and can go all the way up to $3600 depending on your earnings history)
  • Past-due (retroactive) benefits – depending on when you applied and how long it takes, you can receive past-due monthly benefits in a lump sum in addition to the ongoing monthly future benefits.
  • Medicare – you become eligible for Medicare after a being disabled for 24 months!

Obtaining Benefits Is Not Easy

Despite meeting many of the requirements of the program, the process itself can be lengthy and discouraging since the Social Security Administration wants to make sure you really deserve the benefits. Due to the vast number of applicants and limited government resources often lead to an impersonal and dehumanizing experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand that:

  • Most claims lack enough documentation to win benefits. 
  • Errors in paperwork lead to delays or denials. 
  • Social Security laws and regulations are confusing and sometimes inconsistent

Should you Hire a Social Security Disability Lawyer?

Like any legal process it is always better to have a guide, after all would you reprogram your computer by yourself? With over two-thirds of all U.S. applicants for Social Security disability benefits facing initial rejections, understanding the application process is crucial. 

What does it cost to hire an attorney for Social Security Disability?

Attorney fees for Social Security Disability are pre-defined by the statute. An attorney can charge you 25% of the past-due benefits up to a $7200 limit. This fee must be approved by the Social Security Administration as well.

If you do not win there is no attorney fee. 

We understand the financial and health worries you face while applying for Social Security disability benefits. With decades of experience, we combine professional expertise with a personal approach to give you the best service possible. 

At The Disability Guys, our mission is to make a difference in our clients’ lives. As your lawyer, we will fully and comprehensively present your case to the Social Security reviewers, doctors, and judges, to increase your chances of approval.

Free Consultation 

When you’re disabled, you need assistance promptly. Call us at (866) 205-2415 or tell us about your situation online to schedule your free consultation.

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About Our Firm

Markhoff & Mittman, PC The Disability Guys have been dedicated to assisting injured workers and their families secure workers’ compensation, social security disability and other injury benefits since 1933. Throughout the years, we have consistently provided an unexpected legal experience for people facing unforeseen challenges in life. We understand navigating the complexities of different benefit programs and laws is daunting and overwhelming. Our mission is to simplify intricate matters by offering clear and concise explanations, delivering on our promises, and, above all, providing you and your loved ones with the peace of mind necessary to reclaim the life you truly deserve.