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Social Security Disability Insurance provides monthly benefits to workers who meet the Social Security Administration's definition of disabled If qualified, you or your family are entitled to receive monthly benefits until age 65, if you continue to be considered disabled. At age 65, you will start to receive Old Age and Survivors Benefits.

steps to obtain coverage

  1. Initial Application:
    Call or visit your local Social Security Administration office. They will contact all doctors that have treated you. Your claim will probably be denied, but you don't need an attorney at this level. Be sure to file for "reconsideration" immediately after your initial application is denied.
  2. Reconsideration Level:
    You don't need an attorney at this level. A different Social Security Administration Examiner will review your file as well as any new medical reports you have submitted. Your claim will probably be denied again. Upon denial, you should promptly go to the Social Security Administration to request a hearing.
  3. Hearing Level:
    An Administrative Law Judge will review your file and ask you questions at the hearing. Claimants represented by counsel are more likely to be successful at this level than those who are not represented.

The CSEA Workers' Compensation Legal Assistance Program attorneys can help prepare you for this process. They will conduct in-depth interviews with you, correspond directly with your doctors, obtain prior work histories, process all necessary forms, and represent you at the hearing. Be sure to contact the Program Attorneys at the same time that you request a hearing.

  1. Initial Application:
    Call or visit your local Social Security Administration office. They will contact all doctors that have treated you. Your claim will probably be denied, but you don't need an attorney at this level. Be sure to file for "reconsideration" immediately after your initial application is denied.
  2. Reconsideration Level:
    You don't need an attorney at this level. A different Social Security Administration Examiner will review your file as well as any new medical reports you have submitted. Your claim will probably be denied again. Upon denial, you should promptly go to the Social Security Administration to request a hearing.
  3. Hearing Level:
    An Administrative Law Judge will review your file and ask you questions at the hearing. Claimants represented by counsel are more likely to be successful at this level than those who are not represented.

The CSEA Workers' Compensation Legal Assistance Program attorneys can help prepare you for this process. They will conduct in-depth interviews with you, correspond directly with your doctors, obtain prior work histories, process all necessary forms, and represent you at the hearing. Be sure to contact the Program Attorneys at the same time that you request a hearing.

who is eligible

Every disability you suffer from, not just on-the-job accidents, is considered by the Social Security Administration in determining your eligibility for benefits. But there are certain requirements:

  • You must be unable to do any substantial gainful work due to a physical or mental impairment which has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year.
  • As a general rule if you are over age 31, you must have worked five of the last ten years preceding the onset of disability
  • You must have been subject to FICA deductions("off-the-book" jobs and some government workers are not eligible).
how to file a claim

Through the Social Security Administration claims process can take longer than you would like, and at times may be frustrating to you, your financial security could be at stake. The tendency of the Social Security Administration has been to deny claims at the initial levels. Consequently, it is essential that you pursue your claim to the hearing level.

As a truly disabled person, however, it is vital that you make every effort to see that your claim application is granted. You can get assistance for doing this by contacting the CSEA Worker's Compensation Legal Assistance Program attorneys.


If you have a possible Workers' Compensation or Social Security Disability case, the CSEA Workers' Compensation Legal Assistance Program will provide you with honest, courteous and professional representation, at no out-of-pocket cost to you. The representation is provided by the firm of FINE, OLIN, AND ANDERMAN, P.C., through it's statewide network of offices staffed by attorneys who specialize in Workers' Compensation / Social Security Law.