Your mother should contact an Attorney who is familiar with Social Security. You can find qualified attorneys in your area through the National Organization of Social Security Representatives. Their website is: http://www.nosscr.org/index.html
You can also use their referral service by calling 800-431-2804 .
If your mother has been told by her doctor that she is unable to work, and she wants to collect Social Security benefits, she needs to start the process of applying for Disability Benefits herself. To initiate this process she can contact her local Social Security office and make an appointment.
NOTE: Many firms will not help her file a new application.
This answer contains general information only; and it is not intended as legal advice. It is not intended to and does not create an attorney client relationship. Information contained here is only a starting point and you should consider discussing your specific problem in depth with a licensed attorney.
Your mother may be eligible to file for disabled widow's benefits. Before doing so, she may want to talk to her doctor and find out the reasons why he believes she is unable to do any kind of work on a sustained basis. She can apply for disabled widow's (Social Security) benefits online and will be able to find out if she meets the non-disability requirements for that benefit (non-disability requirements are requirements like: age, length of marriage to deceased wage earner, etc.).
She may wish to find or at least consult an attorney now or she could wait until her claim has been denied once, if it is denied. She would be wise to consult an attorney if her claim is denied and before or while she files an appeal/request for reconsideration.
In addition to meeting non-disability requirements, your mother would also have to meet the standard disability requirements of suffering from a medical impairment or impairments that are severe enough to prevent her from performing substantial gainful activity (earning $1000 in gross wages or net self-employment income) and those impairments will continue to be that severe for 12 months or longer. If she's not working now, then Social Security would decide whether or not there are jobs that she could perform/do in spite of her impairments, based on her education, work experience, and what she is still able to do physically and mentally despite her impairments.
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There are facts missing here that make it difficult to answer the question completely. I will say that my colleague is correct - a call to an attorney familiar with social security is a good starting place.
if your mom used to work and is now disabled, she should file for SS benefits right away - SSDI, SSI, and possibly disabled widow's benefits. And, if she gets SSDI, depending on her earnings, the children under 16 may still be able to get benefits. But it is important to file for Social Security right away - SSA uses the date of application to decide what benefits are paid.
You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.
The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) www.nadr.org – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
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The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.