1. What does Social Security do for disabled people?
If medically and financially qualified, a claimant will
receive a very modest monthly cash payment and public
medical assistance- first Medi-Cal; then Medicare.
Ordinarily, one must wait until age 65 to receive
Medicare; so this is the most important benefit for many
people. Each person's benefit is calculated based upon
his or her own earnings record. Every person's monthly
benefit is different.
2. How do I apply?
apply in three ways: 1) By using the Social Security
Website on-line www.ssa.gov; 2) By going to any Social
Security Agency Local office. You do not need an
appointment, but one is recommended. You can find your
local office on the Social Security Website
and 3) By calling the Social Security National toll free
phone number, 800-772-1213.
You do not need an attorney to apply. There is no fee to
file a claim for benefits.
3. Do I Really Need A
You can file with
no help from anyone or you can get help from friends
and family or you can pay someone. There is no
requirement that a person be a lawyer or be certified in
order to help you file a claim for benefits. This is a
highly technical process - like wiring a house or laying
ceramic tile, anyone can do it and like anything, you get
what you pay for. You may not need “a lawyer” but you
do need someone who knows the law, who knows medicine
and who knows how the claims process works.
We know how to use the right words to get your claim
started the right way. We know how to get the right
evidence to the right place at the right time. We know
how to get your claim approved in the shortest amount of
4. Who qualifies? There are two parts: Financial and
Financial: There are two basic Social
Security programs: Social Security Disability Insurance
(SSDI) which is what it says: Insurance - if you have
been working full time before you were disabled, you
have probably paid enough through taxes to qualify
financially, but every case is different. If you
qualify, so do minor children you support. A typical
benefit is $1,100 per month and additional amounts for
minor children in your household who you support. If you
win, you can get benefits as far back as a year before
the date you first filed. But, every case is different.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides a very small
amount of money (less than $850 per month) to people who
live at or below the poverty level. If you win, you do
get paid for the time you have been waiting to get your
Medical: There are five hurdles to
1. Are you working? You don't have to be bed-ridden to
qualify. This is why so many people who get Social
Security benefits may not look like they should qualify
if you see them on the street. Only you know how you
feel and what you can do. Don't give up hope just
because someone else doesn't believe you.
2. Do you have a medical impairment? Basically this
means a diagnosis of something that limits your ability
to work. Here, unlike Workers Compensation cases, they
don't look at just one injury, illness or consequence.
Everything counts. Does pain or pain medication limit
your ability to concentrate? Are unscheduled breaks
necessary for you? Are you out of breath or fatigued
because you can't sleep? It is the combination of things
and what a medical professional says about them that
3. Some medical impairments, like blindness and
terminal cancer, are so severe that there are special
rules and the case may be processed more quickly. There
is a long list of these conditions. Every case is
4. Can you do the easiest job you have done in the past
15 years? They don't just look at the most recent job
you have had. If you have had a sit-down job in the past
15 years, it is legally significant even if you have
done heavy labor for the past 10 years.
5. If you can't do your past job, other
factors (age, education, job skills and difficulty with
English) will make it harder for you to go back into the
work force. It does not matter whether you could
actually find a job. It is your "vocational profile" and
what the medical professionals say your maximum physical
capacity is that count.
5. How long
will this take?
It is impossible to answer this question. A great deal
depends upon the type, the quality, quantity and speed
with which medical documentation reaches the Social
Security Agency from you. This is a more challenging
process than people realize. The single biggest reason
claims are wrongly denied is that the decision maker does
not have all of the right facts. Many people try going
it alone; they get denied initially and give up. Being
in pain, having more bills than money, being alone while
facing a big government agency are too much for most
people. At Hodson and Mullin, our clients are never
alone. We do not give up. We get the records. We talk
with your doctors, your co-workers, your friends. We
wrap up the evidence in a package the Social Security
Agency needs to see. We take on the Agency so you can
take care of your health and your family.
6. Why Hire Us?
Peace of mind.
This is your life, your future.
You are ill, in pain and on very shaky financial
Right now, it takes all you’ve got to do the simple
things that need to be done to get through the week.
From the first Hello to the Final Handshake, we
will take this burden off of you.
7. What Does it Cost?
There is no fee to consult with
our Social Security lawyer either over the
phone or in person to decide what is right for you.
Hodson and Mullin will advance whatever costs are
needed to get copies of medical records and reports.
We expect you to re-pay the costs advanced
whether you win or lose, but there is no attorney fee
unless you are successful.
We do not ask for a retainer to cover costs.
If you are successful, the fee is a maximum of
25% of your back benefit – but there is a cap of $6000.
The back benefit is different for each person so
there is no set fee.
What Exactly Will Hodson & Mullin Do?
We will be there every day, every step of the way.
-- We consult with you about your situation. It may be
best to file right away. It may be best to wait a short
time. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
-- We choose the very best language to describe your
case in the initial applications and reports needed to
start the process and get it moving quickly. While there
are no “magic words” what you say to describe your case
and how you say it shapes your entire claim. No one does
this better than Hodson & Mullin.
-- We assist you when you need to deal with the Agency.
There are forms that only you can complete. Your answers
are very important, but they must be your answers. We
can give you ideas about what to say and how to say it
to help, not hinder, your claim.
-- We monitor your claim on a weekly basis to make sure
it has not fallen through the cracks.
-- We deal directly with Disability Determination
Services - the people who are making the important
decisions during the initial stages of the claim. We
will make sure that they have the right evidence at the
-- We obtain the necessary medical records, doctors’
reports and other evidence you need for success.
-- If your claim is not approved at one of the early
stages, we will prepare you and all of the evidence for
a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.