Mimi’s office can contact the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) on your behalf and assist with securing social security benefits (including retroactive benefits).  The office can also inquire about the status of disability claims and appeals assist with obtaining new or replacement social security cards.

To qualify for social security disability, you must be unable to perform work of any kind and your disability must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death. You must also have earned enough “credits,” based on certain work criteria, prior to the onset date for your disability. In addition, you must be fully insured under Social Security, which means you must have worked for 40 quarters, the equivalent of 10 years. The five years of work prior to becoming disabled counts in calculating the 40 quarters.

While the SSA often takes a while to reach a decision, if your application is denied, you may appeal the decision. You must file the Request for Reconsideration, which is a complete review of your claim. If you disagree with the new decision from the Request for Reconsideration, you may go to your local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The appeal will be reviewed by an Administrative Law Judge and may take several months.

If you are denied once again, you may file another appeal. This appeal will go to the Appeals Council; a decision will take about two years. If you receive disability benefits, the benefits will begin the sixth full month after the date the SSA decides the disability began. In addition, you must wait two years before you qualify for medical coverage.

You can file an appeal or read more on the SSA’s website.