Effective, Compassionate Representation
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I WORK WHILE APPLYING FOR DISABILITY?
The simple answer is “yes”, but working complicates a disability claim. How much a claimant works and earns will determine how the disability claim is affected. You need to speak to your advocate, if you are thinking about working. The following link may be helpful understanding the SSA’s policy on this issue. Benefits Planner: Disability
You must report all work activity, even if it is “under-the-table.”
MUST I HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE TO APPLY OR APPEAL A DECISION?
No. Obviously, it is my opinion you are better off with a representative. Why? Because a good representative is familiar with the process, rules, and information needed to show disability.
WHEN DO I NEED A REPRESENTATIVE?
At ETDA we believe the sooner the better. A representative is better prepared if a hearing is needed, because they have had the case from the beginning.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF WINNING?
This is a hard question to answer. Most successful applications are won at the hearing stage. This means your chances of being awarded at the initial or reconsideration stages are less than at the hearing level.
HOW IS A REPRESENTATIVE PAID?
The SSA regulates what representatives can charge. A representative cannot charge more than 25% of past-due benefits. This means the claimant must win their case before a representative can charge a fee.
Fees do not include expenses, which can be charged whether the claimant wins their case. Examples of expenses are medical records and reports, travel expenses, long distance calls, and photocopying. ETDA normally does not charge expenses unless the claimant is entitled to past-due benefits. The amount varies from case-to-case, but is generally under $50.00.