If you can’t work, the federal government – through the Social Security Administration (SSA) – provides two financial assistance programs for those with medical, psychological, or psychiatric disabilities that keep them from working or restrict the work they can do. The two programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – were established at different times, under different circumstances, and for different reasons. Those differences are important if you need to obtain benefits. While the programs have different eligibility requirements, both involve a lengthy and complicated application process. In southern California, if you can’t work and you need to receive monthly benefits, an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney can help you determine which program is right for you and can also help guide you through the benefit application process.
SSDI is an earned benefit for workers with physical and mental disabilities that are severe enough to prevent them from working for at least a year. SSDI benefits may be received by blinded or disabled workers, their surviving children and spouses, and adults who have been disabled since childhood or birth. In contrast, SSI benefits are designed for low-income adults 65 or older; adults who are disabled (according to the SSA definition) or blind; and children who are disabled or blind. The SSI program is restricted to those with limited incomes and few assets.
SSDI benefits can sometimes be approved quickly if you suffer from one of the severe medical conditions specified on the SSA’s “Compassionate Allowance” list. Otherwise, the process can be lengthy, and initial benefit applications are frequently rejected. That’s another reason you should have legal help from a good Social Security disability lawyer. You have the right to appeal a rejection, but it can take almost a year to get a hearing, and you’ll need a good disability lawyer to accompany you to the hearing and prepare you for it. If you qualify to receive SSI or SSDI benefits, you are legally entitled to the payments. If you can’t work and you aren’t yet receiving benefits, don’t wait to get started. Call an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney today.