Mobile & Pensacola Social Security Disability FAQs

Get answers to common questions regarding Social Security Disability benefits in Florida and Alabama.  For a free consultation, call us at 1-800-891-0567 or contact our office.

Frequently Asked Questions

My neighbor received Social Security Disability and is not even disabled. Why was I denied?

Most people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are, in fact, denied. You may have been denied for any number of reasons – often through no fault of your own. For example, you may be denied benefits if your doctor doesn’t know what’s important to your particular claim.

It’s important to contact a lawyer if you’ve been denied. The clock is ticking and you only have a limited time to appeal. Learn How Gil Laden can help you appeal your denial. Contact us today!

Who is eligible for disability benefits from Social Security?

Under Social Security rules, you’re considered disabled (and eligible for benefits) if a medical condition or injury is expected to keep you from working for at least 12 months. The disability can be a physical condition, a mental condition, or a combination of both.  Find out if you qualify For Disability Benefits in Alabama or Florida.

Are mental illnesses eligible for disability benefits?

Yes. Mental illness is a frequently used basis for getting Social Security disability benefits.

My doctor says I am disabled so why is Social Security denying my disability claim?

It is not up to your doctor to determine whether you are disabled. It is up to Social Security to make their own decision regardless of what your doctor thinks. A disability lawyer can help you fight your denial and appeal by working with your doctor and presenting medical evidence during your appeal.

If I win my case, will I receive medical care in addition to cash benefits? 

That depends. If you’ve been eligible for Social Security Disability for two years – whether you’ve actually received the benefits or not – you qualify for Medicare. If you’re awarded Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you won’t receive Medicare, but rather Medicaid, a needs-based program that provides for a number of prescriptions and doctor visits each month.

Social Security said that I would be able to return to work. Should I wait to see if my health improves or should I appeal?

You have a limited time to appeal your initial denial – don’t wait to see if your health improves. Contact Gil Laden today. Let his experience help win you the benefits you deserve.

I’m interested in talking with Social Security Lwyer Gil Laden. What should I do next? 

Contact attorney Gil Laden today. We’ll set up an appointment to determine whether you qualify for Social Security disability benefits. If you do, we’ll help you start the proceedings for the best chance to get the benefits you need.

How does Social Security decide/determine if I am disabled?

In general, Social Security considers you disabled if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • You cannot perform any other work due to your medical condition(s), age, education, and work experience; and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicaid is a program for people with limited resources. Many disabled people who receive Medicaid get it because they are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To get SSI and thereby get Medicaid you have to be poor and disabled. Medicaid does pay for all prescription medications.

Medicare is also a program, but it does not matter whether you are rich or poor. If you have been on Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits, or Disabled Adult Child Benefits for 24 months or more, you qualify for Medicare. Medicare does not begin until after a person has been on disability benefits for two years, and it only pays for prescriptions through Medicare Part D.

What will happen at my Disability hearing?

A hearing is conducted by the Office of Disability Adjudication & Review of the Social Security Administration. An administrative law judge will preside over your case and a testimony is taken under oath.

The hearing is also private. The only people present will be the judge, the hearing reporter, your attorney, and you. Often the judge may ask a vocational expert to testify about your ability to work.

The judge will consider evidence furnished by you or your attonrey, including medical records, forms completed by your doctor, and other documentation. The judge or your attorney will ask you about your present medical condition, medical history, abilities, education, training, work experience and the limitations in your daily life caused by your disability. Your attorney may make a closing argument that you are entitled to benefits under Social Security.

Why do I need a Social Security lawyer to help me?

Just because your doctor tells you that you are disabled doesn't mean that you meet Social Security's definition of disability. The Social Security disability system is laced with pitfalls and involves thousands of different rules, regulations, and procedures. You can also be denied benefits if Social Security doesn’t receive enough evidence on your behalf. Your case can be dismissed altogether if an appeal is handled improperly.

An experienced attorney who knows the Social Security system can ask the right questions of your doctor to explain your disability to the judge, submit important supporting medical evidence, analyze each part of your Social Security file, prepare your testimony before a court hearing, and cross-examine medical and vocational experts who may testify at your hearing.

How much does it cost to hire a Disability attorney for my disability case?

We will not charge you any legal fees, unless you win, and, even then, subject to approval of the Social Security Administration. The most we will ever charge is 25% of your past due benefits up to a cap (currently $6,000) plus the costs to obtain any medical records, reports, forms, evaluations, photocopies, and other incidental legal expenses on your behalf. In federal court, the fees are different and must be approved by a federal judge.

Federal law regulates attorneys’ fees in Social Security disability cases. So, virtually every disability lawyer works on the same fee basis. All fees must be approved by the Social Security Administration, except when the case is in federal court and must be approved by the federal judge. Typically, the lawyer’s fee is 25% of the past due benefits you get, but it cannot exceed the cap, currently set at $6,000. Read More...

What does it mean that Gil Laden is “Board Certified”?

To become board certified, an attorney must have:

  • Been licensed to practice law at least five years and be a member of the bar in good standing
  • Practiced a set percentage of Social Security Disability law for at least three years
  • Handled a wide variety of Social Security Disability matters to demonstrate experience including appearing in at least 100 Social Security Disability hearings, filed at least 20 appeals council briefs and filed at least 10 briefs in the United States District Courts
  • Attended Social Security Disability law continuing education seminars regularly
  • Been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges
  • Passed a day-long written examination.

Gil Laden has been certified as a specialist in Social Security Disability Law by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, as acknowledged by the Alabama State Bar.

Does my age matter when trying to receive disability benefits?  

Yes. The Social Security Administration looks at age as one of the factors when determining disability.  The administration evaluates age as follows:

  • 18 - 49 is a younger worker
  • 50 - 54 is closely approaching advanced age
  • 55 - 59 is advanced age
  • 60 - 64 is closely approaching retirement age

The Social Security Administration's rules take into consideration that as people get older, they become less adaptable, less able to switch to different jobs to cope with health problems.

Are Social Security Disability benefits taxable in Mobile?

You only pay federal income taxes on your SSD benefits if your total income – including a portion of your benefits and any other income you have – reach certain amounts. Most people don’t pay taxes on their disability benefits.

The income amounts that cause taxes to take effect are $25,000 a year for individuals, $32,000 for married couples filing taxes together and $25,000 for married couples filing separately and living apart. If you file separately and live with your spouse, you will have to pay some taxes on your benefits.

The percentage of your benefits you have to pay in federal taxes depends on your income level. When it comes to Alabama state income taxes, you don’t pay anything on disability benefits.

Can military veterans receive both Security Disability Benefits and VA disability benefits?

Veterans can receive disability benefits from BOTH the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Social Security Disability (SSD). To receive SSD, you must be unable to work and your condition must be expected to last for a least a year or result in death. If you served our country in the armed forces, contact Attorney Gil Laden today to win all the benefits you deserve.


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Serving Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida

If you live in Southwest Alabama or Northwest Florida, your case will most likely be decided by judges in the Mobile hearing office.

Our office is located in Mobile. We have experience working with the local judges and employees in the Mobile hearing office.

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The information on this web site is made available by Gilbert B. Laden, P.C., for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

He has been certified as a specialist in Social Security Disability Law by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, as acknowledged by the Alabama State Bar.