Hello, my name is Ian Croall and I’m the Managing Attorney for the Social Security & Disability department here at Bailey & Galyen. For this weeks talk I thought we’d answer some questions that we typically receive from clients and people who call us on the phone.
The first question we always receive is: Do I need an attorney to apply for social security benefits? The short answer is no. Anybody who is capable of filing an application online, over the phone or in person at a local social security office can do so. However, I do believe it’s a good idea if you receive an initial denial. The reasons for that are social security reviewed your claim and denied it. Clearly there’s something that they don’t agree with or there’s something that’s missing from your case. It’s important to have an experienced attorney review your claim to see what’s missing and see if any additional information could be added to turn that unfavorable decision into a favorable decision and get your claim closed.
Another question we often receive: Can I Work While Applying for Disability Benefits? Again you can. Social Security defines work as sustaining gainful activity. Typically that involves earning more than $1,200 per month. If you are able to keep your earnings under that amount then you are still eligible to receive social security benefits. However it is important to note that social security is going to ask why you’re only able to work up to a certain amount and why you can’t work any longer. For those reasons again it’s a good idea to always talk to an attorney before attempting any work or before trying to return to work while applying for disability benefits as certain timeframes can be beneficial and can also enhance your case in certain circumstances.