Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for Social Security Disability/SSI benefits?

By Calling SSA at 1-800-772-1213, in person at your local Social Security Field Office, online at, or improve your chances of winning by more than 50% by filing with an experienced DAWA Disability Advocate, 1-888-200-6929.

How much does a DAWA Advocate Cost?

Initial Fees are zero. If your case is won, your Advocate is entitled to 25% of your back pay award up to $6,000, whichever is less. If your claim is not won you will owe DAWA Disability nothing.

What is Social Security’s Definition of Disability?

Social Security defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months.

What are the different types of Social Security Disability Benefits?

Benefits may be payable under either or both the Social Security Disability Insurance program or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The medical requirements for disability payments are the same under both programs and a person’s disability is determined by the same process. While eligibility for Social Security Disability is based on prior work, SSI disability payments are made on the basis of financial need. There are other differences in the eligibility rules for the two programs.
Under the Social Security disability program there are three categories in which you may qualify:
i. A disabled worker under 65 who has been employed or self-employed long enough and recently enough under Social Security.
ii. A person who has been disabled since childhood but before age 22 if one of the parents covered by Social Security retires, becomes disabled or dies.
iii. A disabled widow or widower between the age of 50 or 60 if the deceased spouse was covered under Social Security at the time of death.
Under the SSI program the disabled individual is the only person eligible for benefits. There are no benefits payable to the children or the parents.
The rules are quite complex, and a DAWA Disability Advocate can review the facts in your case and advise if you may be eligible

Do I have to wait for all my money to be gone before filing for disability benefits?

No. If you are applying for SSDI, Disabled Widow benefits, or adult disabled child benefits, it does not matter how much money you have in the bank. There is no reason to wait to file the claim.

How long do I have to wait after becoming disabled to file a claim for Social Security/SSI benefits?

Not even one day. You can file for Social Security disability benefits on the very same day that you become disabled. Many individuals make the mistake of waiting months and even years after becoming disabled before filing a Social Security disability claim. There is no reason to file a Social Security disability claim if one has only a minor illness or one which is unlikely to last a year or more. However, an individual who suffers serious illness or injury and expects to be out of work for a year or more should not delay in filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

Are you able to receive Social Security Disability Benefits for _________(insert the name of your impairment)?

You are able to receive benefits for any impairment or combination of impairments if they are severe enough to keep you from working for 12 or more months. Every impairment is measured based on its severity. This is why two people with the same impairment may not both be entitled to benefits. Give DAWA Disability a call today and have one of our disability experts help you evaluate the severity of your claim, 1-888-200-6929

Do you have to be permanently disabled in order to get Social Security Disability benefits?

No. You have to be disabled for at least 12 months or be expected to be disabled for at least 12 months or have a condition that can be expected to result in death within a year.

How can I be positive that I will win my disability?

Unless you have a catastrophic condition (terminal cancers, total paralysis, you are on a transplant list, etc.) there is no simple way to tell whether or not you will be found disabled by Social Security Disability. DAWA Disability tells each Claimant that if they feel that they are unable to return to work in the near future the individual should file for Social Security Disability benefits. Claimants are also encouraged to call an experienced advocate at DAWA Disability for a free consultation concerning your eligibility for benefits, 1-888-200-6929.

How long does it take to get a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge

It varies from state to state, but the average wait time for a hearing is 14-20 months in most parts of the country.

Are you able to get benefits based on a mental health impairment that disables you?

Absolutely, disability awards are frequently given to those who have severe and disabled mental health impairments.

When should I hire an Advocate from DAWA DISABILITY?

As soon as possible. Look at it this way: the price is the same no matter what stage of the process you hire an advocate.

What if I am denied benefits?

Call an Advocate from DAWA Disability immediately to assess your claim FREE OF CHARGE, 1-888-200-6929. A DAWA Disability advocate will lay out all of your options.

How does Social Security determine whether or not I am disabled?

Social Security is required to obtain your medical records and judiciously consider all of your health problems, as well as your age, education, and work experience. In general, Social Security decides whether you are able to do your past work. If Social Security decides that you are unable to do your past work, they will consider whether there is any other work which you can do considering your health problems, your age, education, and work experience.

What is the 5-step Sequential Process that Social Security uses to determine whether you meet the criteria for Social Security Disability/SSI benefits?

Are you Working?
If you are working in 2016 and your earnings average more than $1,130 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled.
Is your condition “severe”?
Your condition must interfere with basic work-related activities for your claim to be considered.
Is your condition found on the list of disabled conditions?
For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. If your condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4
Can you do the work you did previously?
If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then we must determine if it interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, we proceed to Step 5.
Can you do any other type of work?
If you cannot do the work you did in the past, we see if you are able to adjust to other work. We consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim will be approved. If you can adjust to other work, your claim will be denied.
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