Free Assessment Quiz:

Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Take our free assessment to check if you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits up to US$3,345 per month.

What you can expect as one of our clients

Expert guidance based on over 40 years of legal experience with all types of disability cases

Zealous legal representation — we fight for you to win all the benefits you are owed under the law

No up-front attorney’s fees — we don't get a fee unless you get paid

Updates on the process every step of the way

Realistic expectations — no empty promises

Prompt responses to all questions — we won’t leave you hanging

The results you deserve

With over 40 years of service, LaPorte Law Firm has won thousands of claims and appeals for our clients.

My spouse was entering into the scary world of disability and we needed guidance. Kevin LaPorte and Sylvia Marichalar were patient, understanding, and helped us through the red tape of Social Security the first time around when most are denied. No stress, no fuss, just straightforward professionals with a heart.

Ben C.

Terry is the guy to go to for SSDI! He is very thorough, kind, and efficient. He really knows how to get things done! I was approved within months, when it usually takes years.

Christina Loza

LaPorte Law Firm is awesome. They stood by me until my case was finished and we got what was owed to me. I can’t thank them enough. I would totally recommend them to anyone in need.

Sue Sarno

Frequently Asked Questions

SSDI is a disability insurance program financed by your Social Security paycheck deductions. Unless prohibited by your age, you must have worked a total of 10 years (40 quarters), 5 of which must be within the last 10 years (20 of the last 40 quarters). In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have earned FICA-taxed wages during this work period.

For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, no work time is required at all. There are, however, limits to eligibility based on how much property you own or money you have in the bank, as the SSI program is aimed at individuals who lack income or resources and are disabled. Benefits are paid as a flat rate, and the amount may be reduced if you receive any money or assistance from any source.

With both SSI and SSDI, you must be found disabled. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees both programs and defines disability as being unable to perform any “substantial gainful activity.”

No, SSDI can be seen as a safety net. It will pay monthly benefits to you based on the amount of money that you have already paid into the system through employment taxes.
If your claim is approved upon the first attempt, the process should take just a few months. However, it should be noted that only approximately one-third of claims are approved on the first filing. As such, most applicants need to go through the appeal process to secure their benefits. If your claim is then approved after an appeal to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, delays of a year or more before benefit payment commences are also common.

Attorney’s fees are 25% of the first retroactive payment to you by the SSA; however, the fee is capped at US$7,200 regardless of the amount of money you are owed by the SSA. After November 30, 2024, the maximum attorney’s fees are capped at $9,200. There is no one-off or ongoing fee after you win your case. As the SSA can take several years to adjudicate a disability claim, disability claimants are often entitled to a large check for retroactive benefits for the period in which they were waiting for their claim to be decided. Our fees automatically come out of that first retroactive check, so our clients never have to pay us directly.

If your application is rejected on your first attempt, as is the case for many first-time applicants, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. An appeal must be filed using the proper forms within 60 days of the date of the denial decision. Your chances of winning an appeal are greatly enhanced by retaining a firm that specializes in Social Security law.

The monthly amount you will receive depends on factors such as age, past earnings, and type of benefit. To get a better idea of your situation, it is advisable to consult the SSA’s benefit calculator.

Meet our attorneys

Our team of ethical, professional, and dedicated lawyers are the cornerstone of our success.

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Terry LaPorte

Attorney

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Kevin LaPorte

Attorney

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Kelsey LaPorte

Attorney

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Maria Miranda-Hammon

Legal Representative

Award-winning service

Equipped with years of experience and thousands of successful cases, LaPorte Law Firm is the leading disability attorney in the Bay Area, and we have the awards and certifications to prove it.

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Terry LaPorte

Attorney

Since receiving his JD from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1979, Terry LaPorte has dedicated his legal career to representing individuals in Social Security Disability claims and appeals. In 1982, he established the LaPorte Law Firm in Northern California, specializing in Social Security Disability law. For over 40 years, Terry and the LaPorte Law Firm team have successfully represented thousands of clients in California and the Western States.

Throughout his career, Terry has continued to develop his expertise in various ways, such as attaining the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification and serving on the Board of Examiners of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is also a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, a provider attorney to the American Association of Retired Persons, and a seven-time Chair of the Social Security section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. In addition, he has served as a lecturer on disability law for the Continuing Education Program of the California Bar Association and for many community, legal, and support organizations.

Terry has received numerous awards and recognition for his commitment to individuals with disabilities and others in need in our community, including:

  • The Santa Clara County Bar Association Pro Bono Services Award
  • The Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association Community Service Award
  • The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley’s Philip J. Berelson Award for Generous Philanthropy
  • Chapter Programs Partner of the Year and Social Security Attorney of the Year by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Client Distinction Award by Martindale-Hubbell and Lawyers.com (fewer than 4% of over 900,000 attorneys listed on Martindale.com and Lawyers.com have been awarded this distinction)
  • Acknowledgement of dedication to the disabled by the California State Bar’s Consumer Business Review, the Santa Clara County Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Project of Santa Clara County
  • Named a top Northern California attorney in Super Lawyers
  • Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly

Terry is licensed to practice in the State of California and the Northern District Federal Court.

Watch a free video presentation by the attorneys at LaPorte Law Firm – How to prepare for a Social Security disability hearing

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Prepare for Your Remote Hearing