Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI Claims
The Social Security Administration administers two programs for people who have become disabled and need monthly benefits to make up for their inability to work. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program designed for people who have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system for years prior to becoming disabled. If the SSDI claimant is determined disabled, the individual will receive SSDI benefits regardless of family income or individual assets. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a “needs based” program. SSI is designed to pay benefits to disabled person who need help with basic living costs, even though they haven’t worked or paid taxes into the Social Security system. To qualify for SSI, a claimant cannot have family income or income over a certain limit.
Statistically, the vast majority, over 60% of SSDI and SSI claimants are denied at the initial claim and reconsideration levels. For this reason, most SSDI and SSI claimants need to go to a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) to receive benefits. It is at the level of an ALJ hearing that having an experienced disability attorney can help win a claim for SSDI/SSI benefits. Statistically, claimants who are represented by an experienced disability attorney are more successful than claimants without attorney representatives.