| Contact Us |

Susan Kozlowski Attorney at Law

    Flexible Hours
    (219) 663-2588

Free Phone Consultation

Licensed in Indiana & Illinois
State and Federal Courts
Fax (312) 212-4064
Cellular (219) 712-1382
Legal Assistant (219) 712-1384
Basic Social Security Process
  • Application
  • Denial
  • Motion for Reconsideration
  • Denial
  • Request for Appeal
  • Hearing
  • Decision

What you can do to help your claim
  • get your medical records each time you go to the doctor
  • cooperate with all medical exams
  • complete all forms SSA sends you
  • keep your attorney informed!
  • Arrive at the hearing 30 minutes early
  • Don't give up!

Social Security Disability
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Social Security Disability?
Social Security is a monthly benefit from the federal government for people who are disabled from working before age 65.
Do I qualify for social security disability benefits?
Let's hope so! Call me. The federal governments has a set of very complicated criteria for determining disability that would fill an entire library. It depends on your age and medical condition and work history and treatment records and test results and on and on and on. So just call me for a free consultation and we'll talk about you and see if you could qualify. 219-663-2588.
How long before I receive benefits?
The whole process can take up to 18 months or more. An attorney can help speed things up by making sure the deadlines are met promptly, paperwork gets sent on time, communicating with the social security administration on the processing of your case, examining and evaluating your case through the ERE, and a host of other things.
What exactly is the process?
Simply stated, first you apply for benefits. You can do this online or in person. The Social Security Administration attempts to gather your medical records and makes a determination. If you get denied, then you can file a Reconsideration to keep your claim alive. If you get denied again, you can file an appeal, and then eventually you will appear before a judge who will decide your case. You definately do not want to appear before the judge without an attorney by your side.
When can I get an attorney?
Anytime. It's best to get an attorney early on. That way you will have someone who knows what they're doing to help you with the paperwork, to make sure you don't miss any deadlines, to make sure the decision makers get the documents they need, and, of course, someone to make sure your case is properly and thoroughly presented to the judge at the hearing.
Some people handle the process ok, but then get nervous when it's time for the hearing. Then they call an attorney, which is a good move.
Don't hesitate to call an attorney. This is a legal process that calls for an attorney, just like a leaky pipe calls for a plumber. Most of the time these benefits are a lifeline, and you don't want to the best you can the first time.
How much will the attorney cost me?
You pay the attorney nothing unless you win. Then the attorney takes 25% of your first check only, subject to a 25% cap. All checks after that are yours alone.
Why are they sending me for a medical exam?
This is called a consultative exam. It is not treatment. The social security administration wants to have you examined by an independent doctor who will submit a written report as to whether or not you are disabled. This is another good reason to have an attorney. An attorney will discuss your medical condition with you, and the best way for you to present yourself to the consultative examiner. Plus, an attorney will be able to access that consultative report before the hearing. If necessary, we'll have an opportunity to have your treating physician refute the consultative report.
Will a mental illness count for disability?
Yes. Both physical and mental impairments are considered. Mental illness is difficult sometimes because there are no tests, like an MRI or xray, to reveal the problem. But it can be done. An experienced attorney is especially helpful because sometime emotional disturbances prevent a person from properly understanding and participating in the social security process.
What if I go back to work?
No problem! Give it a try! If you are successful, that's great. We'll dismiss your application and you won't owe me a dime. You can always apply again in the future if you need to.
Social security will allow you to earn from a part time job without affecting your benefits, about $900 a month. So you can earn a little extra spending money if you can handle it.
Social security allows for a trial work period, about 9 months. If you try to go back to work, and just can't handle it because of your disability before 9 months, your claim will usually survive.
Can children get disability?
Absolutely! There is a completely different analysis for children than adults. Best just to call me and let's discuss your child's situation.

Jurist Doctorate
Mechanical Engineering
Industrial Engineering

Admitted & Licensed
Northern District of Indiana
Southern District of Indiana
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Tribal Court
7th Circuit

American Bar Association
Indiana Bar Association
Illinois Bar Association
Lake County Bar Association
Porter County Bar Assoc.

   If you can't do the time... Get Kozlowski on the line.