Am I Disabled?

If you have mental or physical symptoms that keep you from working (earning more than approximatley $1,000/month), and those symptoms have lasted or are expected to last more than 12 months, you are disabled.  Now you just have to prove this to the satisfaction of Social Security, which is why you should hire a good Social Security disability attorney.

How Can I Shorten The Disability Application Process?

If you meet certain criteria, you may be a good candidate for what is called an on-the-record decision.  This is where your case is decided right away, without having to wait for a hearing.  Not everyone is a good candidate. Be sure to contact us for a consultation to see if you may qualify.

May I Receive A Free Consultation?

Of course! Simply call us at 344-3044 (Boise, Idaho) or 466-2972 (Nampa, Idaho) or submit our online form.

How Do I Choose A Representative?

First, make sure that your representative is a licensed Idaho Social Security attorney. There is no substitute for the legal training recieved by an actual attorney. Social Security does allow non-attorneys to represent people, but they charge the same fee as an attorney, except they can’t take your case to federal court. So why would you not get an attorney?  You should also know that non-attorneys are not supervised–if they don’t treat you right or mishandle your case–there is no bar to hold them accountable!

Second, make sure your disability attorney is local. Local attorneys now local judges and can serve you better.

Third, make sure your attorney specializes in Social Security disability law. Ask them their success rate.  Many attorneys will accept you case, but may spend most of their time working on divorce cases or workmans’ compensation.  Disability is all we do!

What Are Some Common Mistakes?

Going To A Hearing Without An Attorney.  A Social Secuirty disability application is not a do-it-yourself project.  The rules and regulations that govern when a person is disabled are varied and complex.  Our disability attorneys work full-time understanding these reguations and have significant experience in working with Social Security ajudicators.  You are far more likely to get your benefits with our help.

Not Complying With Treatment. If your doctor suggests a treatment for you, Social Security will likely find you not disabled unless you have a very good reason for not follwing the recommended treatement.  This is because treatment recomendations are intended to fix your symptoms and will perhaps allow you to return to work.  Declining a treatment that may allow you to return to work will convince a judge you are not disabled.  Good reasons for not following treatement recomendations might include a risky procedure with a small likelihood of success, religious convictions, or indadequate financial resources to pay for the suggested treatment.

How Can I Apply For Social Security Disability (SSD) Or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

The easiest way to apply is to contact your local Social Security office and arrange for a phone interview or live interview in that office. For contact information, click HERE. Perhaps a better  way is to apply online at

What Are The Requirements For Social Security Disability (SSD)?

In addition to the requirements listed above in question one, you must have worked approximatley 5 of the last 10 years.

What Are The Requirements For Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

In addition to the requirements listed above in question one, you or your spouse must not have income and assets in excess of SSI limits. These limits can be complicated.  You should contact your local SSA office for more information.

Why Choose Advocate Attorneys?

Because you know you are getting an attorney.   And not just any attorney either. You are getting an attorney that specializes in Social Security disability law.

Claimants who use our services can take comfort in the fact that we win 90% of the cases that we take through the disability process.

When Should I Apply For Social Security Disability?

If you are disabled and can’t work, apply now. The disability process is often very long. Don’t waste any time in getting started.

How Long Does An Application Take?

It will take Social Secuirity about 90-120 days to make a decison on your application.  It takes so long because they want to gather medical records from all of your doctors and because there are a lot of people applying for disability.

What If I Am Denied?

Only about 30-35% of people are approved the first time.  These are the very most obvious cases.  If you are denied, you have 60 days to ask for a reconsideration of your claim. The same office will review your file, but a different person will look at it.  They will gather up records from new doctors and updated records from old doctors.  This process takes about 60-90 days.

What If My Reconsideration Is Denied?

Only 10-15% of reconsideration claims are approved, so most likely yours will be denied. You again have 60 days to appeal your denial by requesting a hearing. You are responsible for updating your own medical records at this stage of your application.  Because a disability hearing is much more invloved than the reviews you have received prior, your wait is also longer.

Can I Work While Applying?

In short, working can hurt your chances for disability if it shows signifcant capacity.  But many people think that they are not allowed to work at all while applying for Social Security Disability benefits. If you earn more than approximately $1,060/month gross (before taxes), you are automatically disqualified from disability.  So the closer you get to that number, the less likely it is you will get disability.

What Is Your Fee?

First, we don’t charge you a fee  until we win your benefits.  No benefits, no fee.  Second, all experienced Social Security disability attorneys charge the same fee, which is set by the Social Security Administration at 25% of your back benefits, the lump sum of past due benefits you recieve after you are approved for disability.

What Is My “Onset Date”?

Your onset date is the date you were no longer able to work because of your disability. Ussually this will be the last day you worked a full time job that you quit or were fired from because your symptoms prevented you from working. Your onset date could also the date of an accident or significant setback in your condition.

How Many Stages Are In A Social Security Disability Application?

There are three typical stages and two additional stages in a Social Security Disabilty benefits claim.  The first three are the initial application, a request for reconsideration and a request for hearing.  If you loose at the hearing level, you can ask the Social Security Appeals Counsel to review your case.  If you are again denied, you can take your case to Federal District Court, and if your attorney and the Court are willing, all the way to the Supreme Court.

What Are Back Benefits?

When you are found to be disabled, Social Security will determine the date on which your disability began, which is your Onset Date.  You will recieve benefits for each month from that date to forward (unless you don’t quailfy for SSI benefits, in which case you will not receive benefits for the first 5 months you are deemd to be disabled).

If I Am Denied, Should I Appeal Or Just File Again?

If you have not yet had a hearing before an ALJ on this claim, you should always appeal. If you have been denied before an ALJ, you should discuss your situation with your disability attorney.

If I Am Found Disabled, Will I Get Medicaid or Medicare?

If you qualify for Social Security Disability you will qualify for Medicare 24 months after your monthly payments start. If you qualify for SSI, you will likely qualify for Medicaid on the month after your application date.

Do I Improve My Chances For Benefits By Hiring An Attorney?

Most Definately.  Social Security Disability is a very complicated process following strict rules and regulations.  A good disability attorney knows how to prepare you and your case to show that you meet Social Security Disability standards.

What Social Security Benefits Are Available To Children?

Children with severe physical or mental condidtions can qualfiy for SSI benefits.

Which states will you assist people in?

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • District of Columbia • Florida • Georgia • Guam • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Puerto Rico • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Virgin Islands • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

Which Idaho cities will you assist people in?

• Aberdeen, Idaho • Acequia, Idaho • Albion, Idaho • American Falls, Idaho • Ammon, Idaho • Arco, Idaho • Ashton, Idaho • Bancroft, Idaho • Bellevue, Idaho • Blackfoot, Idaho • Boise, Idaho • Bonners Ferry, Idaho • Buhl, Idaho • Burley, Idaho • Caldwell, Idaho • Cambridge, Idaho • Carey, Idaho • Cascade, Idaho • Challis, Idaho • Chubbuck, Idaho • Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho • Cottonwood, Idaho • Council, Idaho • Dalton Gardens, Idaho • Dietrich, Idaho • Donnelly, Idaho • Dover, Idaho • Downey, Idaho • Driggs, Idaho • Eagle, Idaho • Elk City, Idaho • Emmett, Idaho • Meridian, Idaho • Middleton, Idaho • Montpelier, Idaho • Moscow, Idaho • Mountain Home, Idaho • Murray, Idaho • Nampa, Idaho • New Meadows, Idaho • New Plymouth, Idaho • Nezperce, Idaho • Orofino, Idaho • Parma, Idaho • Payette, Idaho • Pierce, Idaho • Pocatello, Idaho • Post Falls, Idaho • Potlatch, Idaho • Preston, Idaho • Priest River, Idaho • Rathdrum, Idaho • Rexburg, Idaho • Richfield, Idaho • Rigby, Idaho • Riggins, Idaho • Rupert, Idaho • Salmon, Idaho • Sandpoint, Idaho • Shelley, Idaho • Shoshone, Idaho • Soda Springs, Idaho • Spirit Lake, Idaho • St. Anthony, Idaho • St. Maries, Idaho • Stanley, Idaho • Star, Idaho • Stites, Idaho • Sugar City, Idaho • Sun Valley, Idaho • Troy, Idaho • Twin Falls, Idaho • Victor, Idaho • Wallace, Idaho • Wardner, Idaho • Weippe, Idaho • Weiser, Idaho • Wendell, Idaho • Whitebird, Idaho • Wilder, Idaho