How to Apply for Social Security Disability in Spokane & Coeur D’Alene

Our disability lawyers will get you the benefits you deserve.
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Eric and Gary Penar

The first step is to file your initial claim with the Social Security Administration. While you can take this first step on your own as you may win benefits, more people win benefits with the help of disability lawyers than without.

There are many ways to apply:

  • Online at
  • By mail
  • Over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213
  • In person

We recommend setting up an appointment at the Social Security office closest to you and filling out the paperwork in person with a qualified claims representative. They’ll help make sure your application is accurate and filled out correctly. More information about filing an application is available by calling 1-800-772-1213.

Five factors used to determine if you are considered disabled:

1. Are you working?

If you worked this calendar year and averaged more than $1,220 a month in earnings, you can’t be considered disabled. We can help you determine whether this is the case.

2. Is your condition severe?

To qualify as disabled, your condition must interfere with the basic activities required for your previous job. Proper documentation and evidence are crucial for this step. We’ll work with you and your doctors to prove the severity of your condition.

3. Is your health problem found on the list of medical conditions that qualify?

If your health problem is not on Social Security’s list of impairments, you may not quality for disability. However, you might still be able to prove you’re disabled if you have the proper medical records, and an attorney who can properly submit and support that your medical records to show an impairment that should meet or equal an impairment listing. Contact us today to find out if your condition qualifies.

4. Can you do the work you did previously?

If necessary, an expert will testify at your hearing regarding your ability to work. Eric Penar will cross-examine this expert to show how your condition limits your ability to do your previous job.

5. Can you do any other type of work?

If Social Security decides you cannot do the work you did before, they’ll consider your ability to do other kinds of work. Age, education and work experience all factor into this consideration.

Whether Social Security considers you disabled is determined by your inability to work. The agency considers you disabled under its rules if:

  • You cannot do work that you did before;
  • They decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

Social Security pays only for total disability, not a partial disability. Learn more about if you qualify for disability benefits.

Why do many people consider applying for benefits difficult?

Many people believe that if they simply explain their situation to Social Security, someone will understand and award them disability benefits. Unfortunately, that’s not the way Social Security works.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a complicated legal process. You must PROVE you’re “disabled” according to the Social Security disability program legal definition, and this involves a Five Step Process.

Why are most people who apply for benefits denied?

The Social Security disability system involves thousands of rules, regulations, and procedures. You can be denied benefits if your doctor doesn’t know the legal definition of disability, or if a Social Security employee fails to obtain medical evidence on your behalf. You can also lose your case if an appeal is handled improperly.

Eric Penar can help you avoid the pitfalls by working with you to…

  • Gather proof that you’re disabled and cannot maintain work for one year or more
  • Organize proper job history and records
  • Obtain proper medical records and medical source statements to prove you meet SSA’s definition of disabled
  • Ensure your appeals are filed on time. (There are time restrictions.)

By contacting Gary Penar Law Offices, you’ll vastly improve your chances of winning disability benefits. Our disability attorneys have helped thousands of people apply for and win the benefits they deserve.

How likely are you to win benefits?

Gary Penar Law Offices offers a FREE telephone consultation. Fill out the below form today!

You Only Have 60 Days!
Once you’re denied benefits, the clock starts ticking. You only have 60 days to appeal. Don’t wait too long to contact a lawyer. You can miss the deadline to appeal.
Local vs. National

Get help locally.  We’re local Social Security lawyers, and only serve Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Learn why that makes a difference.

Read What Our Clients Say About Us


I highly recommend Them if you're in need of a disability lawyer.Eric Penar did a amazing job helping me win my disability case.i cant thank him enough for winning my difficult case.a real professional and great guy.

Loren Clark February 15, 2022

Thumbs up

justin tyme January 31, 2022

I was so glad to have this team in my corner! They treated me with such kindness and made a stressful process manageable. I was well prepared for my hearing and I know I can call with questions in the future as well. I highly recommend this team! Thank you Eric, Nick and Precious especially, for all your expertise, work, and kind professionalism!!! So grateful for the win! A great weight is lifted!

Journey With Jen January 28, 2022

Eric Penar and his staff are amazing! Eric, Nick, Amy, and Precious all worked with me in a very timely and professional manner to get a great outcome for disability benefits. Can't recommend Penar Law enough for their great work!

Dan Steele January 26, 2022

Very good and helpful

Allen Troup October 11, 2021

Amy and Precious go above and beyond the call of duty! They are the most caring ladies! Professional and kind! Went way out of their way to help me with a personal matter even years after my case was won! Yes Gary Penar won my case and then came back and saved my tail again! Nick was my contact person and he was incredibly kind! My story is a dark one and I have SSDI because of PTSD. The staff was very patient with me and worked hard to win my case! Thank You Amy! your Kindness will never be forgotten!!!

Christine Douglas June 24, 2021

The legal team here at Gary Penar law office provided exceptional help getting my husband's Social Security claim complete. From beginning to end they are an amazing office. I will recommend them to friends and family.

Beki H June 21, 2021

Gary Penar Law Offices, especially Nick, were very helpful, knowledgeable, and responsive to my case. I highly recommend them!

Rebecca Hartman June 20, 2021

They were kind and understanding. Made me feel at ease with the whole process.

Deborah Marlow June 17, 2021

Gary and Eric are top-notch attorneys for Social Security Disability and all their assistants are well trained and knowledgeable. This is undeniably one of the best firm's in Spokane. Highly recommend!

Efrem Ocubamichael June 15, 2021