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What is Social Security Disability?

Some people buy disability insurance on their own or through their employer, which roughly replaces your take-home pay during the time you’re disabled or until the end of a predefined benefit period. But if you don’t have a separate disability insurance policy, you may qualify for SSDI, and it’s free. SSDI is a federal program that provides financial support to people who become disabled and lose their ability to work.

If you qualify for SSDI, these are benefits that you’ve earned by working and paying payroll taxes to the Social Security Administration. But it’s notoriously difficult to qualify for SSDI.  

The vast majority of initial applications are denied, and after all levels of appeal the final acceptance rate has averaged a mere 34%. It can help to find a

Cleveland, OH

 disability lawyer near you to assist with your application.

Cleveland, OH

Social Security Disability Lawyers - Estimated Cost

Lawyers for social security disability applications only get paid if they win your case. And their fees are taken out of your SSDI backpay award (past benefits owed to you, not future payments). If you don’t get awarded SSDI benefits, you pay no legal fees.

By law, the maximum fee a

Cleveland, OH

disability lawyer can charge is 25% of your SSDI backpay award up to a maximum of $6,000. Typically, the legal fee is less than the maximum $6,000 amount.

Should I hire a Social Security Disability lawyer near me?

You are not required to hire a lawyer to apply for SSDI benefits. And since SSDI is a federal program, you don’t need to hire a disability lawyer near you--you can hire one from anywhere in the country. Though it may be helpful to hire a

Cleveland, OH

social security disability lawyer if you intend to meet in person to discuss your case.

We'll help you find the right Social Security Disability Lawyer

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Do I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

You are eligible to receive SSDI if you are an American citizen or a legal resident. In the application process, you’ll need to prove that your disability may last for at least one year. And often you will also need to prove that you’ve been working for several years and are no longer able to earn an income above a certain threshold.

The Social Security Administration uses a five-point test to determine whether you meet the SSDI definition of disability:

  • 1. Are you working?
  • 2. Is your disability “severe”?
  • 3. Is your disability listed by the SSA or equivalent to a listed disability?
  • 4. Can you do the work you did before?
  • 5. Can you do any other work?

Under each of these questions, the SSA evaluates various criteria to determine whether you qualify.

How do I file for Social Security Disability? 

If you hire a

Cleveland, OH

social security disability lawyer, they will handle the filing process for you. You can also apply on your own:

  • You can apply online directly through the Social Security Administration’s website
  • You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • You can apply in person at your local Social Security office, though we recommend calling in advance to make an appointment.

There is a clear financial benefit to applying on your own--if your application is successful, you won’t have any legal fees deducted from your award.
But keep in mind that less than ⅓ of social security disability applications are approved, and many fail due to incomplete forms or information.
The application process can be overwhelming and confusing, and having a

Cleveland, OH

social security disability lawyer guide you through the process will increase your chance of success.

What do I need to file my Social Security Disability application in

Cleveland, OH


The social security disability application process requires a lot of information. There are several things you should do to prepare for completing the application.

  • Confirm social security numbers. Make sure you have your social security number available, and if you have a spouse or children, their social security numbers as well. 
  • Have your wage and tax statement (Form W-2). You’ll need your W-2 for the past year, which shows the wages you earned and the taxes you paid.
  • Review the Adult Disability Report form and make sure you have the necessary information handy. To determine eligibility, the Social Security Administration will ask for extensive information from you regarding your work history, wages, medical treatments, medications, and other information.  You should review this form and gather as much of this information as possible.
  • Collect your medical records. Your application may move more quickly if you have already collected your medical records detailing your disability. If you haven’t, that’s okay. The SSA will request them on your behalf, but having your records in advance can help you get approved for disability benefits more quickly.

This information will help you complete your SSDI application, the Adult Disability Report, and answer any questions the SSA may have.
Typically, it takes three to four months to hear whether you are approved for benefits. If you are approved, the SSA will send you a letter detailing your benefits and any back pay benefits as well.

If your application is denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal with the SSA.

How do I appeal a denial of my

Cleveland, OH

Social Security Disability application?

If your social security disability claim is denied, you can appeal that decision. There are several levels of appeal your application may go through. 

Below is an overview:

Each step in the process is different.  

  • Reconsideration. You have 60 days to file an appeal for reconsideration. The SSA will have another representative review your application and any new evidence you submit, and determine whether you should in fact be granted benefits.
  • Administrative law judge hearing. If your reconsideration request is denied, you again have 60 days to notify the SSA that you are appealing the reconsideration decision. You will have to go to court and argue your case before an administrative law judge.
  • Review by the Appeals Council. If your application is denied by the administrative law judge as well, you have 60 days to file an appeal to the SSA’s Appeals Council who will determine whether the judge’s decision was correct.
  • Lawsuit in federal court. If the Appeals Council also denies your application, your last resort is to file a lawsuit in federal district court.

How long will it take to get my Social Security Disability benefits?

It can take anywhere from three months to over a year to receive your Social Security Disability benefits, depending on whether you need to go through the appeals process.

Below is the typical timeline for each stage:

The SSDI application process can be overwhelming, confusing, and lengthy. A

Cleveland, OH

Social Security Disability lawyer can help you navigate the process and get you the benefits you’ve earned.

We'll help you find the right Social Security Disability Lawyer

Get the benefits you've earned

Get Started

Local Social Security Administration Offices

Cleveland Social Security Office - Federal Building
1240 E 9th St, Room 793
Cleveland, OH - 44199


Cleveland Social Security Office - Lorain Ave
7517 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH - 44102


Cleveland Social Security Office South Waterloo
15250 S. Waterloo Rd
Cleveland, OH - 44110


Cleveland Social Security Office - Shaker BLVD
11601 Shaker Blvd
Cleveland, OH - 44120


Warrensville OH Heights Social Security Office
18711 Miles Ave
Warrensville Heights, OH - 44128


Lakewood Social Security Office
17513 Detroit Ave
Lakewood, OH - 44107


Beachwood OH Social Security Office
3591 Park East Dr
Beachwood, OH - 44122


Middleburg Heights OH Social Security Office
7344 Pearl Rd, suite 101
Middleburg Heights, OH - 44130


Medina OH Social Security Office
4035 N Jefferson St
Medina, OH - 44256


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