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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

How A Few Days Can Mean Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars Lost Benefits

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Feb 19, 2016 | 2 Comments

I just got in a decision on a case.  The judge found in favor of my client. But, she found that he became disabled about three weeks after he was last insured for benefits.  This small amount of time is going to cost my client tens of thousands of dollars over his lifetime. Instead of getting about $1,100 per month in benefits, he is going to get the SSI amount, $733.  His minor children are no longer eligible for any benefits.  This could have amounted to another $500 or so each month.  By missing his deadline for being insured, this client cut his monthly benefits by more than half.  Think about what that means when calculated over his lifetime. In addition, because he is only eligible for SSI, any income of any kind at any point in his life is going to threaten his ability to keep collecting. 

Don't Let The Days Slip Away

I am going to try to convince the judge to change her decision and go back three weeks.  There is no guarantee this will work, however.

This really shows the importance of being timely regarding the various deadlines that Social Security uses in calculating eligibility for benefits. It suggests the importance of applying as soon as possible. It also is proof that a person trying to get disability benefits needs to see his or her own doctor as often as is necessary.  The more medical evidence there is in the file, the less likely it is that a judge can find that a three-week period marked the difference between being disabled and not being disabled.

If you have questions about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to call or email. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


Michele Regal Reply

Posted Feb 20, 2016 at 14:25:38

Hi John,
What does this sentence mean? "The judge found in favor of my client. But, she found that “he became disabled about three weeks after he was last insured for benefits”
Does this mean he was three weeks short of having enough credits or quarters for working? I guess I don’t understand the legalese.
As a paralegal in my former life, I’m a bit embarrassed to ask. I very much enjoy reading your articles.

John Kuhnlein Reply

Posted Feb 20, 2016 at 15:10:56

If you stop working, you will eventually lose your eligibility for disability benefits. That’s what happened in this case. This is a confusing area. I plan to take this topic up in a new post shortly. Be sure to check back. Thanks for the comment.

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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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