Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are different programs, although both provide help to people who are disabled and both are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you or a member of your family is disabled and no longer able to work, an experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you make the right choices and guide you through the application process. A good disability lawyer works as your legal advocate to make sure you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
The SSA defines disability, essentially, as a person’s inability to work. If you are unable to work as you did previously, and you are unable to do other work, the SSA considers you “fully” disabled. Only fully disabled individuals are eligible to receive SSI or SSDI payments.
A tax on wages and self-employment income finances the SSDI program. Eligibility is based on a disabled applicant’s work history and the amount he or she has paid into Social Security. You must earn a certain number of “work credits” and meet the SSA’s definition of disability to obtain SSDI benefits. SSI, in contrast, is financed by general taxes to provide help to low income persons who are also facing blindness or disability or who are over 65 years old. (Children in some cases may also be eligible for SSI payments.) Applicants for SSI must meet a minimum income prerequisite.
When making a disability claim, you may need to provide:
1. Names and dates for the clinics‚ doctors‚ and hospitals that have treated you
2. Names of the prescriptions you take
3. Results of medical examinations
4. Employers and dates for your last several jobs
5. Contact information for your insurance company or workers’ comp carrier
6. Contact information of a closest relative or friend
If you haven’t yet applied, if your disability application was denied, or if you are at any stage of the application process, seek the counsel of an experienced disability attorney who can help you understand how Social Security makes decisions about disabilities. A good Social Security disability lawyer can also help you compile the evidence and line up the witnesses you need to obtain your benefits. It can be a long process; get started by contacting an experienced Social Security disability attorney immediately.