Daniel Edelman: Social Security, Disability Law


“Thanks for everything and winning my case from Social Security. It was a pleasure to meet and work with you.”
-- M. McV.

“I want to thank you for all the work and effort you put into my case, simply brillant.”
-- J. L-C.

"Both of us want to sincerely thank you for your efforts, wisdom, kind words and support in our long journey to a successful outcome.”
-- R. M.

“It wouldn’t have happened without you.”
-- M. McG.

“You are so efficient! Thanks for the invoices with all the explanations.”
-- P. B.

How Social Security Works

Disability Defined

It may come as a surprise to learn that Social Security has a strict definition of disability. Unlike other insurers, Social Security doesn’t pay for either partial or short-term disability. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable – or expected to be unable - not only to perform your normal and customary job, but also any other sort of full-time work, for at least one year from the date you became unable to work.

If approved, benefit checks start about 60 days after the decision awarding disability benefits. There’s no time limit on how long you can receive benefits: they continue for as long as your condition keeps you from working. Social Security conducts periodic reviews to determine if your condition has improved and whether you remain eligible for benefits. If you are still receiving disability benefits when you reach your full retirement age, they will be converted into retirement benefits. The amount you’ll receive, however, remains the same.

How Long It Takes

You’ll need to be patient – it's a sorry fact that, because there is a huge case backlog, Social Security takes far too long in deciding cases. This situation seems likely to persist into the foreseeable future. You should be prepared for the fact that it will take months, not days or weeks, before Social Security will issue a decision in your case.

Often clients ask if there is any way for me to speed up the process. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases the answer is no. In some instances, the delay is because I am waiting for more information, such as updated health records or a letter from your doctor. In such a situation, it wouldn’t help you (or me) to agree to an early hearing and lose your case. In the end, if you win and receive benefits, the wait will be more than worth it.