Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Law consists of the rules used to decide who will qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, and how much money they will receive.

Because these are federal programs, state and local laws do not apply. The rules can be found in the Social Security Act as it appears in Title 42 of the United States Code, as well as in the published regulations and rulings of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

SSDI benefits are meant for adults who become disabled and unable to work for at least one year. Benefits are only available to those who have paid a sufficient amount into the system (through payroll taxes), and have not yet reached retirement age.

Requirements For Social Security Disability

Eligibility requirements for SSDI and SSI are very specific. For SSDI, the threshold qualification involves the number of “work credits” the applicant has accumulated prior to becoming disabled.

Work credits are based on the applicant’s earnings. Each time the applicant earns a certain amount of wages or self-employment income, he or she receives one work credit (as of 2013, it takes $1,160 of earnings to receive one work credit).

To receive SSDI, the applicant must also be “disabled.” SSA considers people to be disabled if they cannot work in their field or adjust to another field of employment, due to a severe medical impairment. An applicant may qualify based on a single impairment, or a combination. Either way, the inability to work must be complete, and long-term.

For SSI, eligibility is based on income level, not work credits. An applicant must have an income level below a certain amount known as the federal benefit rate, or “FBR” (as of 2013, the FBR is $710 per month). Calculating the FBR is complex. For example, only a portion of income earned by working will be used in the calculation. At the same time, FBR will include the value of any in-kind services the applicant receives, such as free rent or meals.

Our Approach For Social Security Disability Cases

There is nothing wrong with filing an initial disability claim on your own. However if your claim is denied and you decide to appeal, your chances of success will greatly improve if you hire a lawyer.

We understands the frustration and fear that comes from being denied benefits that you desperately need. Even if you have already been denied, you may still be able to receive benefits.

Your Next Steps

Have you received one of the forms from Social Security Disability and aren’t sure what to do next?

Rest assured that when you consult our legal team, you will receive the attention and personalized care you deserve.

Request a free consultation so we can learn more about your situation and how our legal team can help!

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