Practice Areas

Social Security Card

Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD) program was put in place to help those that are disabled and cannot work. If you think that you may be able to benefit from this program it is important to know how to determine if you qualify for SSDI since the rules are very specific in determining your eligibility.

Estate and Assets

Estate Planning

Traditional estate planning years ago consisted of a Last Will and Testament and not much else. Estate planning today must take into account health issues, financial and retirement plans, income needs and long term care insurance. All of your assets should be addressed and incorporated into your estate plan.

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While we are a smaller law firm, our knowledge and shared core values make us a force to be reckoned with. Chris and Jeffrey work with each and every client—they meet them, remember their names, and know every detail about their case. We not only know about our clients’ cases we know about their families, their fears, their goals for the future. We take the trust our clients place in us very seriously, understanding that “getting your life back on track,” could mean something very different for each client—and listening closely to determine what it means for you.


...Definitely Recommend...

Christopher Sharry helped me in my quest to receive disability benefits after receiving news of health issues. He was always available within one day of my calling him with questions. I would definitely recommend him to family and friends.

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The Sharry & Monfette, LLP team concentrate their practice in the following areas:

The Social Security Disability Benefits program was put into place to help those that are disabled and unable to work and make a living. If you believe you could benefit from the SSD program, it is important to know how to determine whether you qualify for SSD benefits as the rules are very strict. Your past work history is the first determination of whether you are eligible for SSD benefits. You must have worked at jobs where you paid into the Social Security System, meaning any job where you were paid “under the table” would be excluded. Those who are self-employed but pay into Social Security are also eligible so long as they have sufficient work “credits.” Generally speaking, you must have 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the past 10 years prior to the time you became disabled. While the numbers vary from year to year, in 2021 you earn one SS credit for every $1,470 in covered earnings. This means you must earn $5,880 to obtain the maximum four credits for the year. Those who are younger when they become disabled may not require as many work credits as those who are older. Once you have met the work requirement, you must expect your disability to last for at least 12 months, and you must be unable to perform the work you did in the past—and unable to adjust to other types of work due to education, skill level, or work experience. There are some special circumstances that may fall outside the stringent SSDI program rules including those who are blind, situations in which you are the widow or widower of the worker, wounded warriors, and parents of disabled children. The SSD team at Sharry & Monfette, LLP are dedicated advocates when representing you and fighting for your rights and your future. If your SSD claim is denied and goes to the appeals process we will communicate your story in the best way to the ALJ to help you receive benefits and get your life back.

Estate Planning once encompassed little more than a Last Will and Testament. Today’s estate planning takes into consideration health issues, financial and retirement plans, beneficiary preferences, income needs, and even long-term care insurance. All your assets must be properly addressed, then incorporated into your estate plan. At Sharry & Monfette, LLP, we use numerous strategies and documents designed to protect your assets from long-term care facilities, probate court, and estate taxes. These strategies include:

  • Wills that can both designate beneficiaries for your assets and name guardians for your minor children
  • Durable Powers of Attorney that allow you to appoint another individual to make financial decisions in the event you become incapacitated
  • Health Care Proxies that allow you to appoint an individual to make medical decisions in the event of legal incapacity
  • HIPAA releases to prevent communication restrictions for your Agent
  • Revocable Trusts that efficiently pass assets to beneficiaries, as well as assisting in avoiding probate, incapacity planning, and the establishment of sub-trusts for minor grandchildren
  • Irrevocable trusts that will protect your assets in the event of long-term care requirements when Medicaid benefits are at issue

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration is federally funded and administered. The SSA pays...

The Social Security Administration is federally funded and administered. The SSA pays disability benefits to you and certain members of your family providing you have sufficient work credits as well as a medical disability that prevents you from working for at least 12 months. Those that qualify for disability must be younger than your full retirement age, must meet the SSA’s definition of a disability, must be unable to work because of the medical condition, and must not have only a partial or short-term disability. If you qualify under the SSA rules for a disability, then you will receive a monthly check.

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How Much is Social Security Disability?

The severity of your disability does not determine the amount of SSD...

The severity of your disability does not determine the amount of SSD benefits you will receive, rather the amount is based on your lifetime average earnings prior to the time you became disabled. Your SSD benefits are based on your average indexed monthly earnings in a formula that determines your primary insurance amount. In practical terms, SSD payments generally range from $800 to $1,800 per month, with the maximum benefit in 2020 at $3,011. There is an online benefits calculator that can be used to obtain an estimate of your monthly benefits. If you are the recipient of other government benefits, such as Workers’ Compensation, a pension based on work not covered by SS, or public disability benefits, your monthly benefits through SSD could be reduced. You will also be entitled to “back pay,” which considers the date you applied for benefits and the onset date of your disability.

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Can You Work Part-Time on Social Security Disability?

It is possible to work part-time and still receive SSD benefits, although...

It is possible to work part-time and still receive SSD benefits, although there are very strict limits on how much you can earn. There are “substantial gainful activity” limits, meaning that as of 2020 you cannot earn more than $1,260 per month if you are disabled but not blind, and not more than $2,110 per month if you are blind. Even if you earn below the monthly SGA limits, the SSA may look at other factors to determine whether you should continue to receive disability benefits such as the number of hours you are working and the type of work you are performing. The SSA has established other programs that encourage those receiving SSD benefits to return to the workforce if their medical conditions allow. This is known as a “trial work period.” During a period of 60 months, you can attempt a trial work period for up to nine months (that do not need to be consecutive). If, however, you have more than nine months of substantial gainful activity, your disability benefits will cease.

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Contact Sharry & Monfette, LLP Today

Whether you are looking for an advocate to help you receive Social Security Disability benefits or you are ready to engage in estate planning, the legal team at Sharry & Monfette, LLP can help. We are a highly respected law firm with highly respected, knowledgeable, dedicated advocates just waiting to assist you. Our daily mission is to offer the very best legal representation we can to all those in Worcester and surrounding counties. We are dedicated and compassionate, honest, client-focused, and sincere. When you choose Sharry & Monfette, LLP, you have chosen a serious, professional law firm you can count on to hear you, counsel you, protect you, and advocate for you, with a goal of achieving a successful resolution on your behalf. Contact Sharry & Monfette, LLP today!