Social Security Disability
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
SSDI is financed by the Social Security tax. Therefore, any person that qualifies as disabled according to the definition provided by Social Security Administration, and who has paid Social Security taxes long enough to achieve sufficient work credits, can qualify for SSDI.
Who Can Receive Benefits?
In order to qualify for SSDI, you must suffer from a permanent condition that prevents you from working. In other words, your disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, a minimum of twelve months and you must be unable to earn an income greater than $1000 per month (prior to 2010, this standard allowable level of Substantial Gainful Activity was only $980 per month).
In addition, an individual must have earned sufficient work credits in order to qualify for SSDI. This is called ” insured status” .The normal requirement is a total of 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the 10 years prior to the onset of disability. Usually, this means that a person must have a fairly consistent work history and have worked (and paid Social Security taxes) for a combined five of the ten years prior to becoming disabled.
These work requirements can be somewhat less for younger individuals, as parents’ work credits can be applied to applicants under the age of 22.
Do I Need An Attorney to Pursue My Claim?
The annual number of applications for SSDI is at an all time high. Due to the limited resources of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the extreme volume of applications processed, more than 60% of initial stage applications are currently denied. In the reconsideration stage of appeal, the number jumps to well over 80%.
Given those odds, having a qualified Social Security attorney such as our experienced attorneys will take the unknown factor out of the process. Having representation will help you to know and understand your options in the case of a denial. In addition, our lawyers can help to organize paperwork and medical records, prepare you or your witnesses for hearing, and will likely have a vast amount of previous experience dealing with SSA offices and judges in your area.
The SSDI application process can be overwhelming, particularly in the fairly common circumstance of a denial at the initial stage. Having the experience of our team of lawyers on your side can prove invaluable in getting you the benefits that you deserve.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal assistance program designed to provide income to aged, blind, or disabled people who have limited assets with which to support themselves.
The SSI program is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but financed by the general tax fund. Because the program is not financed by Social Security taxes, there are no work requirements necessary to qualify for SSI.
How Can I Qualify for SSI Benefits?
In order to qualify for SSI benefits, an individual must be aged 65 years or older, be legally blind, or meet the definition of permanent disability provided by the SSA.
Because SSI is a need-based benefits program, the financial eligibility of potential claimants is evaluated based on two categories of assets: income and resources.
Income refers to the amount of money a person receives from wages, other benefits programs, food assistance programs, pensions, etc.
Resources refer to the value of assets such as cash savings, equity, or real estate.
In order to qualify for SSI, a family’s combined income and resources must total less than $3000. For an individual it is less than $ 2,000.
Individuals or families approved for SSI benefits will receive a monthly income payment up to the maximum Federal benefit rate determined by the SSA. Unlike SSD, a person who qualifies for SSI must make a separate application for medical benefits under the state medicaid program; these benefits are not automatic.
Do You Qualify?
If you are disabled and feel that you are entitled to benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance, please call our office and schedule a free consultation to determine whether you have a claim. If you believe that you are disabled but do not have an earnings record so as to qualify doe SSD, you may qualify for SSI. Call out office for a free consult. 330-792-2336.Don’t go it alone. And remember, we do not get paid unless we win your case. Call now. 330-792-2336.