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President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security law in order to help low and middle income Americans during their senior years and after being disabled.  Unfortunately, in today’s political climate there are those that want to greatly reduce the various Social Security benefits many Americans already receive.

You may appoint a qualified person to represent you when doing business with Social Security. Use Form SSA-1696-U4, Appointment of Representative to tell the Social Security Administration in writing about the person you appoint. Sign and date the document and send it to your local Social Security office.  A representative generally cannot charge or collect a fee for these services without written approval from the Social Security Administration.

How long does it take to get a reply after I apply for disability benefits?

The time it takes to get a decision on your disability application can vary depending on: The nature of your disability; How quickly the Social Security Administration can get your medical evidence from your doctor or another medical voucher; Whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination; and Whether the Social Security Administration reviews your application for quality purposes. If you would like to apply for disability benefits, you can use the Social Security Administration’s online application. Applying online for disability benefits offers several advantages: You can start your disability application immediately. There is no need to wait for an appointment; You can apply from the convenience of your home, or on any computer; and You can avoid trips to a Social Security office, saving you time and money.

Can I qualify for Social Security disability benefits I already have benefits for being a veteran?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) each have disability programs.  It is possible to receive disability benefits from both; however, the criteria for receiving disability benefits through Social Security are different from the criteria for receiving disability benefits from the VA, and you must file separate applications.  For example, the VA may pay benefits for partial disability, but SSA pays disability benefits only to people with impairments so severe they prevent any kind of substantial gainful activity (SGA).  You may find that you qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or that you qualify for both.

Is there a waiting period for Social Security disability benefits?

If you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, there is a five-month waiting period before we can begin your benefits. the Social Security Administration will pay your first benefit for the sixth full month after the date the Social Security Administration finds your disability began.

If my child has a disability, do they qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

A child with a disability age 18 or older may get Social Security benefits when a parent gets retirement or disability benefits. The child also can get benefits if a parent dies. The child’s disability must have begun before age 22.

Can you return to work after getting Social Security disability benefits?

Yes, you can return to work while receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has special rules to help you get back to work without jeopardizing your initial benefits. You may be able to have a trial work period for nine months to test whether you can work. If you get disability benefits and your condition improves or you return to work, report these changes to us by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or by visiting your local Social Security office.

What are compassionate allowances for Social Security Disability?

Compassionate allowances allow the Social Security Administration to expedite Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications for people whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions obviously meet Social Security’s definition of disability.

How long does it take to get my baby’s Social Security card?

Each state or jurisdiction has different processing times. If you waited the indicated length of time and still have not received your child’s Social Security card, find your local Social Security office and make an appointment. You also can call us at 1-800-772-1213(TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Keep your child’s Social Security card in a safe place with other important documents. Do not carry it with you. The chart here shows the time it takes for each state to send the application and paperwork to Social Security. Allow an additional two weeks for Social Security to send the card in the mail.

How Do I Change or Edit My Name on My Social Security Card?

If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order or any other reason, you must tell Social Security so you can get a corrected card. You cannot apply for a card online. There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free. To get a corrected Social Security card, you will need to: Show the required documents. You will need proof of your identity. Sometimes you also may need to prove your current U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status. Fill out and print an Application for a Social Security Card; and Take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.