Proctor and Kole, Attorneys at Law
Proctor and Kole, Attorneys at Law.

Frequently asked questions about Social Security

What's the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

Social Security Disability is based on some of the money that was withheld from your paychecks or that you paid into the Social Security system while you worked. In order to be eligible for SSDI, you need to have worked enough and paid enough into the Social Security system. Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program. To be eligle for SSI, you have to be needy from a financial standpoint. In addition to meeting these eligibily requirements, you must also show that you are disabled or unable to work.

How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?

In very general terms, Social Security defines diability as the inability to work for at least a period of one year. The Social Security Administration takes into account such things as your age, education, the sort of work that you have performed in the past, what medical conditions you have and how those conditions limit you. For a list of just some of the conditions that might entitle you to disability benefits, click here. Call our offices today to speak with one of our attorneys, personally, to see if you have a case.

Do I need a lawyer for my Social Security case?

It is not absolutely necessary that you have an attorney represent you, but statistics show that the chance of being awarded benefits increases significantly when you hire an attorney. The Social Security process can be confusing, complicated and stressful. It helps to have an attorney who is familiar with all of the laws, paperwork and procedures to handle the various appeals, obtain all of the necessary evidence and, as in most cases, appear before a judge to argue your case. The attorneys at Proctor & Kole each have over 20 years of experience in handling Social Security cases from beginning to end. Call our offices today to speak with one of attorneys and see how we can help you with your case.

What should I look for in a lawyer in my Social Security case?

First, it's important to know that some individuals that hold themselves out as Social Security advocates or representatives are not actually even attorneys at all! Make sure that you check the qualifications of anyone that you might hire to represent you. Both Maureen C. Proctor and James A. Kole have been licensed to practice law in the state of Florida for more than 20 years. Next, make sure that the attorney that you think that you are hiring will actually be the person that represents you. In some firms, your file will be handled by someone other than the person you see in their advertising or that you meet with. Sometimes, these individuals will be sent from out of state or might be someone that you have never met or even spoken to! At Proctor & Kole, either Ms. Proctor or Mr. Kole will handle your case personally. Lastly, make sure that the person you hire has a lot of experience in Social Security law. At Proctor & Kole, we have handled literaly thousands and thousands of Social Security for over 20 years! Call our offices today to speak with one of attorneys, take advantage of our experience and see how we can help you with your case.

How much does a Social Security lawyer charge?

At Proctor & Kole, you do not owe us a penny unless we win your case. When we do win your case, you should receive a back benefits check from Social Security. We are entitled to 25% of those back benefits. And, no matter how much your back benefits might be, the most we can charge is only $6,000. These amounts are set by law. In addition, when we win your case, we also ask that you reimburse us for the money we had to spend trying to get you your benefits, such as getting your medical records or other information from your doctors. But, again, if we don't win your case, you don't owe us anything, not even the money we had to spend on the case.

When should I hire a lawyer in my Social Security case?

You can hire an attorney at anytime but, generally, the earlier the better. You do not have to wait until you are denied and you can even talk to us before you have applied for benefits. However, the Social Security process is a very long one and we recommend that you file your application as soon as possible. To get started on your application now, visit the Social Security website at (WARNING: be careful that you do not go to or, as these websites are not actually run by the Social Security Administration), give the Social Security Administration a call at (800)772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or stop by your local Social Security office. To find the Social Security office closest to you, go to Social Security Office Locator.

If you have any other questions or prefer to speak directly with one of our attorneys, please call us at (850) 422-0880 or, toll free at (800)821-6385 and set an appointment in person or by phone today.



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