Get in touch with our Arizona social security disability lawyers today to discuss your case.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is also called Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Title II benefits, are benefits based on what you have paid into the Social Security system. When you work, you pay taxes, which gives you quarters of coverage. If you have paid in for enough quarters of coverage, you can be paid Social Security Disability Insurance if you meet the other disability requirements. Even if you meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, you cannot get SSDI if you do not have enough quarters of coverage.
The amount of SSDI payable to you depends on how much you have earned and paid in taxes. The Social Security Administration has a complicated formula for calculating your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is the amount that you can be paid as your monthly SSDI benefit.
If you obtain SSDI, your spouse and children may also be entitled to receive benefits based upon your earnings record. These benefits are known as auxiliary or dependents benefits.
When you apply for SSDI, you claim an onset date of disability, which is the date you were no longer able to perform substantial gainful occupation on a sustained basis. If you are found to be disabled, the Social Security Administration will establish your onset date of disability.
When your SSD benefits are calculated, there is always a five-month waiting period, which begins on the first of the following month. For example, if you are found to be disabled as of March 5, 2017, the five-month waiting period would be April – August, meaning September 2017 would be the first month you would be entitled to receive SSDI benefits. Past due or back Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are payable for up to one year prior to the date of application.
Medicare benefits are payable to the claimant on the 24th month of entitlement to receive SSDI. If September 2017 is the first month of entitlement to receive SSDI, September 2019 is the first month of entitlement to Medicare coverage.
Arizona Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also called Title 16 benefits, are benefits based on income and resources. If you have not paid enough into the system to qualify to receive SSDI, you may qualify to receive SSI.
SSI is intended to provide monthly income to US citizens and legal permanent residents with limited income and resources. You do not need to have a history of working to receive SSI. To qualify, you must meet the disability requirements and be under the income and resource limits for the program.
The disability test is the same for both SSDI and SSI. It is possible to receive both SSDI and SSI if your monthly SSDI amount is very small. When you receive both SSDI and SSI, you are said to be receiving concurrent benefits. Unlike SSDI, SSI does not result in any past due benefits prior to the date of application. If you are found to be disabled as of the date of application, SSI is payable as of the first full month after the date of application. Also, unlike SSDI, SSI does not result in any benefits to spouses and children. Benefits are only payable to the claimant.
If you qualify to receive SSI by meeting both the disability and income and resource requirements, you automatically qualify to receive Medicaid. In Arizona, the Medicaid program is the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
Arizona Disabled Widow(er)s Insurance Benefits (DWIB)
Disabled Widow(er)s Insurance Benefits (DWIB) are payable to a widow or widower and are paid on the earnings record of the deceased spouse. The disability test for DWIB is the same as it is for SSDI and SSI. There are additional requirements that must be met for DWIB. You must be between 50 and 60 years old.
Also, your disability must start either before or within seven years of the deceased spouse’s date of death, with limited exceptions. This is known as the prescribed period. DWIB are not based on your earnings record. The benefits are payable based on the deceased spouse’s earnings record. There are special rules that allow a surviving divorced spouse to get benefits based upon the record of a deceased former spouse.
Disabled Adult Child (DAC) Benefits
Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits are payable to an adult child and are paid on the earnings record of a parent. The disability test for DAC benefits is the same as it is for SSDI and SSI. There are additional requirements that must be met to be eligible for DAC benefits. Disability must be established before age 22. You are eligible for DAC benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits.
Disabling Conditions In Arizona
If you have suffered a serious condition that has left you disabled and unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits. But going up against large insurance companies and getting through all the government red tape with Social Security is complex and difficult to prevail without the right legal team representing you.
With more than 30 years focused exclusively on disability benefits law, we have significant experience with a wide range of disability cases involving insurance companies, Social Security and often both. We’ve helped tens of thousands of clients with various disabling conditions and have vast understanding of what Social Security and insurance carriers consider disabling and how to best secure disability benefits.
Disability insurance companies are not focused on your best interest and Social Security staff, although well-meaning, do not have the time or ability to provide thorough, individualized assistance.
Pekas Smith Disability Attorneys is 100% committed to our clients’ best interests and we have the largest staff of all Arizona Disability Attorneys to support you. Our entire law firm is dedicated to fighting for disability insurance benefits.
While this list does not include all disabling conditions, it covers some of the most common. We do strive to continuously add helpful information about more conditions. If you’re unable to work and don’t see the condition that is disabling you listed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- Heart Disease
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Ophthalmic (Eye) Disorders
- Otological (Ear) Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Why Should You Hire An SSD Attorney In Arizona?
You are not required to have an attorney represent you in your Social Security disability claim. However, your chance of getting (and maintaining) benefits is significantly better when you have an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance attorney navigating the process for you and your medical providers. To win benefits as quickly as possible, it is optimal to hire an attorney from application, but working with an SSD focused lawyer at any stage in the process is beneficial, particularly at the hearing level.
In December 2017, the United States Government Accounting Office (GAO) presented a detailed report to the House Of Representatives Committee and Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security titled “Additional Measures and Evaluation Needed to Enhance Accuracy and Consistency of Social Security Disability Hearing Decisions.” The report analyzed cases from 2007 – 2015 and concluded that disability insurance claimants who had representation were approved SSDI benefits at a rate of nearly 3 times higher than those without representation.
Here are some of the key reasons why it’s important to hire an Arizona SSD attorney:
- Knowledge of the law
- Knowledge of medical record requirements
- Documentation of functional limitations
- Abilities to present evidence at a hearing
Meet Our Arizona Social Security Disability Lawyers
To put it simply, we know what we’re doing. Our Arizona disability lawyers have more than 30 years of combined experience handling disability benefits cases, exclusively. With more than 10,000 satisfied clients, we have a track record of success.
Attorneys Jeremy D. Pekas, Tye Smith and Sterling King lead a team of experienced support professionals. We’re licensed in the State of Arizona. Plus, our team also has United States District Court and Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit admissions, so you have representation wherever your case takes you.
Our team believes that nothing substitutes for hard work. That’s why we know the Social Security laws and procedures in depth. That’s why we get to know you and your situation. It’s this attention to detail that has helped us navigate the disability system for thousands of people. Our team of professionals is here to help you, too.
We are experienced and compassionate. It’s a winning combination.
Meet our team. Come get to know us and discuss your situation.
SSD legal fees In Arizona
We understand you are unable to work and don’t have an income without the disability benefits you deserve. The financial and emotional stress of that while also dealing with your disabling condition is difficult.
We want to do all we can to make the process as easy on you as possible. That’s why we don’t charge a fee for our legal services unless we win your case. We also advance the cost your doctors, hospitals, and other treatment providers charge for providing your medical records. Other firms don’t do this.
The fee for representation in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims is regulated by the Social Security Administration and by Congress. Therefore, there is no negotiation. This means the best and most experienced SSD attorney doesn’t cost any more than an attorney fresh out of law school.
Social Security Disability Advocate companies charge the same fees but are non-attorney representatives handling your case. While they may provide an attorney at the hearing level, it is typically one they contract with out-of-state.
These national companies cannot provide the experience or benefits our local Arizona disability attorneys can. Also, many advocate companies are funded by large disability insurance carriers where sharing of information could be detrimental if you’re also filing for Disability benefits through your employer or private disability insurance policy.
When choosing who to trust and fight for you to get the disability benefits you need to re-secure your life, focus on quality, local SSD attorney representation to ensure you get the best, since the cost is the same for all options.
Contact our Arizona Social Security Disability Lawyers
Statewide presence, localized service
Our social security disability lawyers serve people throughout Arizona and beyond. We are a full-service firm with offices in Phoenix, Tucson and a presence throughout the state. We even handle cases out of state with ease, using phone and video calls.
Wherever you need us, we can help you. We know that when you’re injured, mobility is an issue. That’s why we can talk by phone, video call or another way that works for you.
To see how convenient our services are and how we can represent you, we invite you to contact us to talk about your situation.