When health problems lead to financial problems, monthly checks from Social Security Disability could be just what you need to survive.
As you apply for benefits and try to piece your financial picture together, one of your first questions is likely to be how much will you get.
The answer depends on your past work history, how much you paid into the system during your working career, and the type of benefits you receive — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Makris Law Firm can inform you how to get an estimate of your monthly benefit from Social Security, if you’re found to have a disability. We can also discuss your questions and concerns at no charge.
How much do I get with SSDI?
As you can tell by the word “insurance” in the name, Social Security Disability is a program you paid for from every paycheck while you worked.
That means you’ve earned the right to receive these benefits when bad health makes it impossible for you to work.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates your benefit amount based on how much money you made over the years, and how long you worked, adjusting for how your wages changed over time.
It’s a complicated formula. And it only pays a portion of your old income, but it could be just the financial relief you need to keep food on the table.
- As of late 2017, the average monthly SSDI benefit was $1,173.
- Social Security set the maximum possible benefit at $2,788 for 2018.
To get help applying for benefits and appealing if you’re denied, work with one of the experienced attorneys at Makris Law Firm. You pay no attorney’s fee up front. And you pay no fee until you win.
How much do I get with SSI?
Supplemental Security Income is not a government-run insurance program like SSDI. Instead, it’s an assistance program for people with limited income, work history and financial means who experience disabilities.
So the amount you receive under SSI is not tied to a formula based on years of your income.
It’s the same, set amount for everyone. But it gradually changes over time.
Here are three recent years of SSI monthly payments:
- Individual: $733
- Eligible couple: $1,100
- Individual: $735
- Eligible couple: $1,103
- Individual: $750
- Eligible couple: $1,125
To qualify for SSI, you have to meet certain income standards. If you qualify but have some income or receive food, housing or other assistance, these resources may reduce how much you can receive in benefits.
How much can family members receive in SSDI?
Social Security also provides payments for spouses and children of workers who qualified for SSDI benefits.
The amounts that family members can receive — including widows, widowers and adult children with disabilities — depend on how much the worker with a disability worked and earned.
In late 2017, spouses of workers with disabilities received an average of about $329 per month, according to SSA numbers. Children of workers with disabilities received an average of $358 per month.
Get the maximum benefits you deserve
Until you win your disability claim, it’s impossible to say exactly how much money you’ll get, but we can show you how to get a pretty close estimate.
Getting benefits is not easy, which is why most people hire an attorney to help them. Most people get denied on their first attempt and give up.
If that happens to you, you should appeal because that’s when many people do finally get their benefits. Work with an attorney who knows Social Security’s complicated process — and take some of the burden off yourself as you apply or appeal.
Makris Law Firm has over 40 years of experience helping Texans when they need it the most. We fight to get the maximum possible benefits for you.
Health problems stopped you from working. You’re struggling with a loss of income. Hiring a lawyer for your Social Security Disability claim sounds expensive.
But it’s not.
In fact, the Social Security system is designed to make it easier for you to afford help with your disability application or appeal:
- You pay no attorney’s fee up front.
- You don’t pay any fee unless you win.
- You never pay a fee out of your pocket. When you win benefits, the money for your attorney comes from back benefits that Social Security awards you.
- Social Security sets a cap limiting how much your attorney can collect from those back benefits.
Social Security Disability attorney’s fees are governed by federal regulations. So just about every disability lawyer works the same way.
Attorney’s fees in these cases are called contingency fees, which means they are contingent upon you winning your case.
At the Makris Law Firm, we’ll also help you get started by evaluating your case for free.
What’s the limit my attorney can charge?
Under Social Security rules, your lawyer can charge up to 25% of your past-due benefits, which is your back-pay.
And that only counts up to a dollar limit of $6,000.
The attorney’s fee never goes above $6,000 of your back benefits, unless the matter proceeds to federal court. But even then it’s never more than 25% of your total back benefits.
What are my back benefits?
Every Social Security Disability case takes time to prepare, file and process.
It can take as much as a few weeks or months from the day you apply to receive a Final Decision.
If you need to appeal your case to a Social Security Administrative Law Judge, it can take more than a year to have a hearing. Recent numbers from Texas put the wait at almost 14 months.
During all that waiting time, though, you still have serious health problems, and you still can’t work.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes this, so for Social Security Disability (SSD) cases, it awards you back pay covering the time since the day it determined your disability began.
This back pay can add up starting a year before your application date.
In the other disability benefits program run by Social Security, Supplemental Security Income — or SSI — you get back pay covering the period starting the month after you submitted your application until the day your benefits are approved.
Your chances of winning benefits are better if you have a professional representing you.
You’re already dealing with serious health problems and money stress. At the Makris Law Firm, we’re glad the system is designed to save you from financial risk in working with a lawyer.
What other legal costs do I face?
A Social Security Disability case often involves costs to obtain medical records, work records and school records.
However, a Texas medical provider cannot charge for copies of medical records so there is no cost to you.
What does a disability lawyer do for me?
Having an attorney improves your chances of winning benefits, according to past Social Security numbers.
And especially if you have a hearing coming up with a judge, we strongly encourage you to get legal representation.
At Makris Law Firm, we do all of this for you:
- understand your illnesses that keep you from working
- analyze your Social Security file
- prepare your case
- obtain important evidence such as medical records
- prepare your testimony
- question witnesses
- cross-examine any medical and/or vocational experts who testify at your hearing
- file appeals in a timely manner (if necessary)
- represent you at each stage of your claim
Makris Law Firm has helped thousands of Texans when they needed it the most, starting from the moment Victor Makris opened the firm 40 years ago. We are the oldest Makris Law Firm in the Houston area.