FAQS Social Security Disability Benefits, Claims, Appeals
When it comes to Social Security Disability, you want a knowledgeable attorney on your side who knows the intricate ins and outs of the Social Security System. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to give you answers about your Social Security Disability. Please submit the inquiry form on this page or simply give us a call to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team. We want to fight for you!


Q: Who is eligible to receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
A: According to the Social Security Administration rules, you are considered disabled and eligible to receive benefits if a medical condition or injury is expected to keep you from working for at least 12 months. Click here to see a current listing of qualifying disabilities from the Social Security Administration website. A disability may be physical, mental, or a combination of both.

Q: What is the difference between Social Security Disability, (SSD), and Supplemental Security Income, (SSI)?
A: The main difference between the two is that SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits. SSI benefits are available to low-income people who have either never worked or who have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD.

Q. When should I contact an attorney?
A. Since most of the applications that individuals submit on their own are denied, (historically 66%), you should contact Avard Law as soon as possible to begin the process. Call us at 888-685-7930 to see if you have a case. We can plan your case from the beginning to optimize results. The first consultation is free.


Q. Why should I hire Avard Law? What makes them different?
A. Avard Law Office is the ONLY Florida law firm with FOUR Board Certified Social Security Disability Attorneys on staff, Carol Avard, Douglas Mohney, Mark Zakhvatayev and Michael Sexton are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our lawyers have over 30 years working with the Social Security Administration and Judges at Social Security hearings. Avard Law also has a former Social Security Administration Decision Maker on staff.


Q. If my claim was denied by the SSA, what should I do?
A: Appeal. If you want to appeal the decision, you will need to do so within 60 days from the date you received your denial letter. The SSA begins counting five days from the date on the letter to determine if you appealed within the 60 days period.


Q: What is the difference between a non-attorney advocate and a lawyer?
A: Non-attorney advocates are not lawyers, but they can assist you in filing your claim. A non-attorney spokesperson must be certified by the government to meet the requirements under the Social Security Disability Applicants’ Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010, Public Law No. 111-142.Section 206 (e) of the Social Security Act (Act) Social Security Act §206 [42 U.S.C.406] (e) sets forth prerequisites that non-attorney representatives must satisfy – they  must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualifications, pass a written examination administered by the Social Security Administration, undergo a criminal background check, and complete continuing education courses.


Q: Can I get Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits at the same time?
A: Yes, you can file a claim for both programs. The programs are completely separate from one another. Your disability payments could be offset by the amount of your Workers Compensation benefits.


Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Attorney for my Disability Case?
A: At Avard Law, we don’t charge a fee unless we win your claim. If we do win the case for you, we follow the standard federal statute. We charge 25% of your back benefits, up to a maximum of $6,000. There are also incidental charges for obtaining medical records, etc.  Your initial consultation is free.


Q: The Social Security Administration said that I would be able to go back to work. Should I appeal or wait to see if my health improves?
A: There is usually a limited time to appeal your denial. Please contact us for information about returning to work that is specific to you.


Q: Are mental illnesses considered for disability benefits?
A: Mental illness is frequently used as a basis for qualifying for benefits.


Q: How do I know if my medical condition qualifies me for Social Security Benefits?
A: Almost any condition that keeps you from working may qualify for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration website does keep a list of conditions, but it may not list every condition. Please contact us for a free consultation to see if you qualify.


Q: Can I collect Social Security Benefits while I am also working?
A: There are certain rules that allow you to work, as well as have a trial work period to test your ability to work. Please consult us for more details.

Q: How does my age affect disability benefits?
A: The SSA categorizes age is the following manner:

  • 18-49 is a younger worker
  • 50-54 is approaching advanced age
  • 55-59 is advanced age
  • 60-64 is closely approaching retirement age

Q: What questions should I ask an attorney before hiring them?

A: Here are a few of the questions you want to ask:

  • Do you take initial applications?
  • Do you take phone appointments?
  • Is Social Security your main focus?
  • How many years of experience do you have in this area?
  • Are you local to the area?
  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • Will you meet with me before my hearing?

Even more Frequently Asked Questions About the Social Security Disability System are available at the Social Security Administration’s web site, click here.