The Law Office of Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC The Law Office of Drozdowski & Rabin, PLLC


Frequently Asked Questions

Common Medical Issues

When applying for disability, the first step is to determine your medical impairment(s). Your diagnosis, along with medical documentation, will be used to prove that your problems and limitations prevent you from working. Both physical and mental conditions are recognized by Social Security. Some examples of potentially disability medical impairments include depression, bi-polar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and migraines. To learn more, visit our Types of Impairments page.

Preparing For A Hearing

Many clients find attending and administrative hearings and facing an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for their disability case very stressful. Hiring an attorney to prepare, support, and represent you during your case can relieve much of the burden. At Drozdowski & Rabin, we help you prepare for that hearing by bringing you into our office and discussing what to expect in advance. This includes going over the questions that you’ll be asked by your attorney and the judge, along with details like what to wear, where to go, and what time you will need to arrive.

Burden of Proof

In a disability case, the burden to prove disability is on the person applying. In order to present a strong case, it’s important that you are proactive with seeking treatment. It’s important that you are able to show the SSA that you are making every effort to improve your symptoms. This includes making needed appointments with your doctor and communicating clearly with them about your issues. At Drozdowski & Rabin, we can help determine which doctors will be a good fit for your claim and give you advice on how to communicate with them.

What Does It Mean to Be Totally Disabled?

To be considered totally disabled, a claimant must prove that they are unable to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. If you choose to work with a legal representative, your attorney will begin by determining your medical impairments. Medical records are used to prove what limitations your impairments would cause in order to show Social Security why you cannot work. This is a complicated process and we are here to help you.

The Social Security Disability Process

When you decide to apply for Social Security disability, realize that you are entering into a process that typically takes 18 months to 2 years. Depending on the complexity of your case, the completeness of your initial application, and other factors, you may spend over two years dealing with bureaucrats, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. Drozdowski & Rabin can provide you with guidance during the process from your first application to an award of disability.

What's The Difference Between SSD & SSI?

There are two types of disability benefits--Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSDI are benefits based on the work and taxes that you’ve paid into the system. SSI benefits are for people who haven’t paid in enough to be eligible for SSDI benefits.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) are based on work and taxes. In order to be eligible for these benefits, you have to have paid into the Social Security system for 5 out of the last 10 years. In order to receive the quarters of coverage that you need for this type of benefits, you would have needed to pay taxes on your paycheck (a FICA line item). The amount of money that you’ll receive in benefits is directly based on the amount of money that you’ve paid in benefits. When you receive these benefits, you also receive Medicare insurance.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based payment. It is for people that have not paid enough into Social Security to be entitled to the first type of benefits. For SSI benefits, there are not only requirements to prove disability, but there are also resource limits. In order to be entitled to SSI benefits, you have to have less than $2,000 in the bank, 1 house that you live in, and 1 car. If you have more than that, then you would not be entitled to SSI benefits.

Why Choose Drozdowski & Rabin?

The attorneys at Drozdowski & Rabin represent people with disabilities in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina who are trying to get benefits from the Social Security Administration. We can help people at all stages of the Social Security benefits process, from the initial application, through the Administrative Law Judge hearings, and even into the United States District Court. We take great pride in our work, which allows us to assist people who are often struggling through the most difficult time in their lives. We’ve helped thousands of clients with mental and physical disabilities receive the benefits they deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.

Are you interested in legal advice on SSD?

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