Social Security Disability (SSD) is a program in the United States that provides financial assistance to individuals unable to work due to a disability.

It gives money to people who can’t work because they have a serious disability. This help is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Join us as we explore how an experienced SSDI lawyer helps you secure your SSD benefits.

Eligibility Criteria for SSD

You must have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system to get an SSD. To qualify, your disability must be severe and expected to last at least a year or result in death. 

You’ll get monthly payments based on how much you worked and earned before. After two years, you might also qualify for Medicare to help with medical bills.

To apply, you must share information about your work and your disability. If you need help, you can get support from a Social Security Disability attorney.

Social Security Disability (SSD)_ What You Need to Know


SSD is designed to provide financial support to people who have a disability that prevents them from working and earning a living.


To qualify for SSD benefits, individuals must meet certain Social Security Administration (SSA) criteria. To get SSD, you must have a medical condition that stops you from working for at least a year or could cause death. This condition should make it hard for you to do normal work.

Application Process: 

To apply for SSD benefits, individuals must apply to the SSA. This application includes information about their medical condition, work history, and other relevant details.

Medical Evidence: 

Medical evidence plays a crucial role in the SSD application process. Applicants must provide documentation from healthcare professionals to support their claim of disability.

Financial Assistance: 

If approved for SSD benefits, individuals receive monthly payments to help cover living expenses. The benefits you receive depend on factors such as the individual’s work history and earnings.

Review Process: 

Periodically, the SSA may review a recipient’s case to ensure they still meet the eligibility criteria for disability benefits. This may involve medical evaluations and assessments of the individual’s ability to work.

What is meant by SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program that provides financial assistance to people, unable to work due to a disability. Here’s what you need to know:

Insurance Program: 

SSDI operates as an insurance program, where individuals contribute to the system through payroll taxes while working. These contributions qualify them for benefits if they become disabled and unable to work.


To qualify for SSDI benefits, individuals must have worked a certain number of years and paid Social Security taxes. They must also have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.

Monthly Benefits: 

If approved for SSDI, individuals receive monthly payments to help cover living expenses. The amount of benefits is based on the individual’s earnings history and contributions to the program.

Medical Evidence: 

Applicants must provide medical evidence, such as doctor’s reports and test results, to support their disability claim. The severity of the disability and its impact on the individual’s ability to work are key factors in determining eligibility.

Work Credits: 

Work credits are earned based on the individual’s work history and earnings. The number of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI benefits depends on the person’s age when they become disabled.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):

SSDI differs from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a needs-based program for disabled individuals with limited income and resources.

SSDI lawyer

An SSDI lawyer is a legal professional who spends years of rigorous law school training to specialize in social security disability cases.

  • A disability lawyer focuses on representing individuals applying for disability benefits, particularly through programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • An SSDI lawyer is crucial for those unable to work due to a disability, working diligently to secure the financial support they need.
  • They assist in applying for benefits from the government, particularly from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • They guide individuals through the complex process of proving disability to the SSA by giving a free consultation.
  • Understanding the laws and rules surrounding disability benefits, SSDI lawyers, simplify the process for their clients.
  • They use their expertise to gather necessary medical evidence and paperwork to support disability claims.
  • Their knowledge and experience significantly increase the chances of approval in a Social Security disability hearing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Disability Lawyers

Finding the best Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer requires careful consideration of various factors. Here’s a detailed explanation of what to look for:

Expertise and Specialization:

  • Social Security Disability attorneys in New York specialize in helping individuals throughout the state navigate the complex process of applying for and obtaining disability benefits.
  • They have in-depth knowledge of federal and state laws related to Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.


  • Many SSD attorneys in New York have years of experience handling SSI cases, from initial SSDI applications to the appeal process and hearings.
  • They understand the unique challenges and requirements associated with SSD claims in New York. They are well-versed in the procedures of the local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices and administrative law judges.

Client Representation:

  • New York Social Security Disability attorneys represent clients at all stages of the disability claims process.
  • They assist clients with gathering necessary medical evidence, completing paperwork, and preparing for hearings or appeals.
  • Attorneys advocate for their client’s rights and work diligently to maximize their chances of obtaining favorable outcomes and securing the benefits they deserve.

Accessibility and Communication:

  • Effective communication is crucial in the attorney-client relationship. SSD attorneys in New York prioritize clear and timely communication with their clients.
  • They ensure clients understand their rights, options, and the progress of their case throughout the legal process.

Local Knowledge and Presence:

  • SSD attorneys in New York deeply understand the local landscape and legal community.
  • They are familiar with the administrative procedures and preferences of SSA offices and administrative law judges in New York, which can benefit clients’ cases.

Free Consultation and Contingency Fees:

  • Many SSD attorneys in New York offer free initial consultations to assess clients’ cases and discuss their legal options.
  • Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. Their fees are typically a percentage of the back pay benefits you receive upon approval.

Client Reviews and Reputation:

  • Potential clients can research SSD attorneys in New York by reading client reviews, testimonials, and professional ratings.
  • Positive reviews and a strong reputation within the legal community are indicators of a lawyer’s competence and commitment to client satisfaction.

What is the most an SSDI lawyer charges?

There are regulations in place when it comes to attorney fees to ensure they are reasonable. Here’s what you should know:

  • Maximum Fee Percentage: SSDI lawyers typically work on a contingency basis. The maximum fee they can charge is 25% of the past-due benefits you are awarded, up to a maximum amount set by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • No Fees Upfront: SSDI lawyers cannot charge any fees upfront. They can only collect fees if they win your case and you receive past-due benefits.
  • Expenses: In addition to the fee percentage, lawyers may request reimbursement for expenses incurred while working on your case, such as fees for obtaining medical records or hiring expert witnesses. These expenses are separate from the attorney fee.
  • Review Agreement: Before hiring an SSDI lawyer, review and understand the fee agreement. It should clearly outline the fee structure and any potential expenses you may be responsible for. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your lawyer before signing the agreement.

How far back does SSDI pay?

SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) payments can go back as far as 12 months before the applying date for benefits, but no earlier than the date you became eligible for SSDI. This period is called the “retroactive period.”

However, you won’t receive payments for any time before you become disabled and meet the eligibility criteria for SSDI.

So, the payments can be retroactive for up to 12 months before your application date, but they start when you become eligible for benefits.

SSDI benefits in New York

In New York, as in the rest of the United States, eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here’s a detailed explanation of who is eligible for SSDI benefits in New York:

Work Requirements:

  • To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked jobs covered by Social Security and earned enough work credits.
  • Work credits are earned based on your annual income, and the number of credits needed to qualify depends on your age when you become disabled.
  • Generally, you have earned a certain number of work credits within the past ten years, with recent work history being more heavily weighted.

Disability Requirement:

  • A medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disability.
  • The SSA considers you disabled if you have a severe physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.
  • Your disability must prevent you from performing the work you did before becoming disabled, and it must also prevent you from adjusting to other types of work.

Medical Evidence:

  • You must provide medical evidence to support your disability claim.
  • This includes documentation from healthcare professionals, such as doctors, specialists, therapists, and hospitals, detailing your medical condition, treatment history, and limitations.
  • Medical evidence may include diagnostic test results, treatment records, clinical notes, and expert opinions.

Workers’ Compensation:

  • Workers’ Compensation, on the other hand, is a state-run program providing benefits to employees who are injured or become ill on the job.
  • SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is a federal program that provides financial assistance to people unable to work due to a disability.
  • It’s possible to receive both SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits simultaneously, but there are certain rules and limitations.
  • Workers’ compensation benefits are based on a percentage of your average wages, while SSDI benefits are calculated based on your work history and earnings over time.
  • If you receive workers’ compensation benefits, it may reduce the amount of SSDI benefits you’re eligible to receive, depending on the total income received from both sources.
  • However, workers’ compensation benefits do not affect your eligibility for SSDI, and you can still apply for and receive SSDI benefits if you’re receiving workers’ compensation.
  • It’s important to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits, as it can affect the calculation of your SSDI benefits.

Severity of Disability:

  • The SSA evaluates the severity of your disability based on medical evidence and how it affects your ability to perform work-related tasks.
  • Disabilities that significantly limit your physical or mental abilities, making you unable to engage in substantial gainful activity, are more likely to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Age and Work History:

  • Your age and work history play a role in determining eligibility.
  • Younger individuals may have different work credit requirements than older individuals.
  • Individuals who have worked consistently and earned higher incomes may have accumulated more work credits, making them more likely to qualify for SSDI benefits.

Non-Medical Eligibility Criteria:

In addition to meeting the medical requirements, you must also meet nonmedical eligibility criteria, such as:

  • Not engaging in substantial gainful activity (earning more than a certain amount each month).
  • Not being eligible for retirement benefits equal to or greater than the disability benefits you would receive.
  • Being a U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen.
  • Not being disqualified due to certain criminal convictions or violations.

Application Process:

  • To apply for SSDI benefits in New York, you can complete an application online through the SSA’s website, by phone, or by visiting a local SSA office.
  • It’s essential to provide accurate and detailed information about your work history, medical condition, and other relevant factors.

The SSA will review your application, medical evidence, and work history to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for SSDI benefits.

Committed To Helping You Obtain Your SSDI Benefits| Suffolk County SSDI Lawyer

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be challenging and confusing. At the Law Office of Frank A. Cetero, we understand the complexity of the process. We are committed to providing you with a comprehensive review of your situation to determine the benefits you may be eligible for.

These benefits may include:

  1. SSDI benefits for individuals unable to work due to injury or illness
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for those who may not qualify for SSDI or need additional income due to disability
  3. Benefits for disabled children or widows
  4. Social Security Disability benefits and workers’ compensation offset

Each type of benefit has specific eligibility criteria, and our best social security disability lawyers will guide you through the process. We gather all the necessary medical information and documentation to support your claim.

Many applicants will need to attend a hearing before receiving benefits. Our attorneys will represent you at these hearings before an administrative law judge. They present a strong case to secure the benefits you deserve. If your claim is denied, we will assist you in appealing the decision.

Contact our Suffolk County SSDI attorneys today to learn how we can assist you in pursuing Social Security Disability benefits.