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Social Security Disability Insurance FAQs

Find Answers to Frequently Asked SSDI Questions

Those applying for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) have to wade through all kinds of strict guidelines and deadlines. It can be confusing and result in a denial if not done correctly. Karns & Kerrison’s goal is to make the process easier. Below, our Rhode Island Social Security disability insurance attorneys provide answers to the most common SSDI questions from our clients.

Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Contact us online or by phone at (888) 281-3100 to schedule a free initial consultation today.

Awards & Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice
    As members of the AAJ, we are committed to promoting a fair, effective justice system that allows for victims of misconduct or negligence to obtain the justice they deserve.
  • Rhode Island Association for Justice
    Members of the Rhode Island Association for Justice follow the organization’s mission: Working together to ensure equality.
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
    The Rhode Island Bar Association has been working to uphold and protect federal and state laws since 1898, with an emphasis on maintaining a democratic government and honoring the justice system.
  • DC Bar
    Membership with the DC Bar provides us with access to legal research materials, professional service providers, and more that can be used for the benefit of our clients.
  • Super Lawyers
    Only 2.5% of attorneys in a given state are selected for inclusion on the Rising Stars® list. Members must be aged 40 or younger, or be in practice for 10 years or less.
  • Distinguished Martindale Hubbell
    Distinguished® attorneys are peer-review rated and selected based on their honorable professional achievements.
  • Brain Injury Association
    Our work with the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island is designed to provide information and services to survivors.
  • Brain Association of America
    As members of the Brain Injury Association of America, we are the voice of awareness, and we are here to help survivors.
  • Southern New England Brain Injury Law Center
    Southern New England Brain Injury Law Center
    This is a society of multidisciplinary brain injury professionals who come together to discuss issues concerning brain injury and bring the science behind brain injuries into practice.
  • Melvin M Belli
    Lawyers are initiated into the Melvin M. Belli society by invitation-only and are considered to be distinguished trial lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does it mean to be disabled?

    To be considered disabled for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes you have to show:

    • You cannot do work that you did before;
    • You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
    • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

  • What if I have not worked in the last couple of years?

    If you have worked in a Social Security-covered job for at least 5 of the last 10 years, you should be eligible for SSDI benefits. If you cannot pass the work requirement tests, have not held an eligible job, or have not worked at all, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

  • What is my "established onset date?"

    Your established onset date (EOD) is the date that you became disabled. This date is important if you are approved for SSDI as it is used to calculate your past-due benefits.

  • How far back will Social Security pay if approved?

    If approved for SSI benefits, you will get past due benefits beginning the date of your application even if your date of disability was before your application date.

    If approved for SSDI benefits, the back pay will have a five-month waiting period from the established onset date (EOD). Another important restriction regarding disability back pay is that it can only extend up to 12 months before the date of filing. A claimant who has been disabled for years but waited until recently to file a claim can only receive past-due benefits for the year before he or she filed the initial application.

  • How long does a Social Security claim take?

    This question is difficult to answer as all claims are different. In some cases, a claim can be won in as little as 30 days and some claims can take 2 years.

  • How much will I get if I win?

    Monthly SSI disability benefits are set by federal law and are increased each January to account for a rise in the cost-of-living. If approved for SSDI, benefits are based on past wages and the amount of time worked. Benefits generally range from $500 to $2,000 per month, with the average monthly payment over $1,100.

  • What can an SSDI attorney charge?

    The fee is limited to 25 percent of the back-due or past-due benefits you are awarded. The maximum fee is set at $6,000. The attorney will be paid only out of your back pay or past-due benefits.

    Learn more about how Karns & Kerrison handles SSDI cases; contact our Rhode Island Social Security disability lawyers today.

Schedule A Free Consultation

If you or your loved one suffered severe, life-altering injuries due to someone else’s negligence, we are here to help you fight for justice. For answers to your questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact our personal injury team at (888) 281-3100. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay attorneys’ fees after we have recovered compensation on your behalf.

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