I am a 52 year old female, have fibromylgia and I had my hearing at the ALJ level yesterday and was approved for disability.
My lawyer was in a big hurry afterwards, and I didn't get to ask him the questions that now I keep thinking of.
My claim was approved~ and it goes back to Feb, 06. My lawyer did tell me that in SC it usually takes 2-3 months to get your back pay and first check. What I would like to know ~ is the way you figure up your back pay- take what they will be sending you monthly times the number of months going back to Feb, 06? (for example $800 x 36)
I know they will take 25% for my lawyer before I see anything, but he also mentioned yesterday that I would have a drs visit and a few out of pocket expenses to pay that I will have to take care of myself.
I know this might sound like I'm being greedy, and I promise I'm not~ but I thought that's what the 25% pays for.........
Any help with this will be much appreciated~ thank you, Patti in SC
Last edited by rushkasmom; 12-11-2008 at 02:31 PM.
There can be additional charges that the lawyer can require you to pay, such as fees to obtain copies of medical records, testing by doctors in preparation for your hearing, etc. Usually, those fees aren't a lot, maybe a few hundred at the most (I know, to us, waiting and waiting and watching the bills pile up, a few hundred IS a lot). The 25% also has a cap of, I believe, $5300. So if the 25% is more than that, the lawyer only gets the cap amount.
Attorney Fees -
Yep, the fee by law is capped at $5,300. The only other fees they can charge are the "extra" out of pocket expenses. This was disclosed to me up front by my attorney. I received a bill for $90 from them with a copy of the documentation for those fees. If they just send you an additional "list" bill, request documentation of those charges.
Back Pay -
If you happen to have a copy of the annual social security statement they send around your birthday, there is a section that states.......if you were to become disabled today, with a $$ amount. That is a starting point for your back pay. Then they calculate the COLA each year from that. My monthly amount was within $20 of that figure so I was able to reasonably "guesstimate" my back pay before I received my award letter that included the back pay amount.
I was approved in October but haven't received my back pay yet. The reason I haven't is because an SSI review had to be completed and recently was. They are now stating I will have it within the next 4 weeks because the review is completed
Do they review everyone for SSI? I was told by my lawyer that I didn't qualify for it.
Also I have heard they take 5 months off your start day for back pay, is that true?
One more question, does everyone on SSDI receive medicare after 24 months or is that something else I will have to try to qualify for. Thank you all for youe help. I tried to call the 800# for SS Admin and was on hold for 45 minutes before I hung up. Is it always like that? Patti in SC
I live in GA and if I call SS and it is a wait, I can chose to have my call returned without losing my place 'in-line'. I would think (but don't know for sure), that every state is the same.
Hope this helps