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FAQ

How much does the Law Office of Elizabeth Gade charge?

The standard fee charged by all attorneys in a Social Security Disability case is 25% of the client's retroactive benefits, not to exceed $6,000. The fee is contingent: if our attorneys do not win the case, the client does not owe a fee. The claimant will also reimburse the office for any out of pocket expenses incurred for obtaining medical evidence, including copying medical records. No attorney is allowed to charge a fee unless that fee is first approved by Social Security. There is no charge for the initial consultation, even if the claimant decides not to hire us.

What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI?

The definition of medical disability for both types of benefits is the same. Generally, a claimant applies for both types of benefits at the same time. The difference is what makes a claimant financially eligible for either program. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid to claimants who have paid a sufficient amount of Social Security taxes out of their wages over a certain period of time. If the claimant is found medically disabled, the amount of monthly benefits is determined by how much money the claimant has paid into the system over his or her working career. Dependent children of eligible claimants are sometimes eligible for benefits as well. Benefits are also sometimes available to the widow or widower of a person who paid a sufficient amount of money into the system before he or she passed away. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits do not depend on how much a claimant has paid into the system. Instead, these benefits are available to people who have been found medically disabled and have income and resources below a certain level. It is possible to receive some amount of benefits from both SSI and SSDI.

What medical benefits are available to people eligible for SSI or SSDI?

If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance they will be eligible for Medi-Care. A person who receives SSI will be eligible for Medi-Cal, which is California's name for Medicaid. If a person receives both SSDI and SSI benefits, they will receive both Medi-Care and Medi-Cal/Medicaid.

What is Social Security's Definition of Disability?

The Social Security Act defines "disability" as: "[the] inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." In making a disability determination, Social Security uses a five-step assessment known as the "sequential evaluation."