If you are disabled and can no longer work due to an injury or illness, the federal government’s Social Security program may be the only opportunity you have to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration denies over 70% of initial claims. Sandler Law Group can help.
The United States Government provides two separate programs to help those who are disabled: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both are disability programs, but the requirements for them vary. To be eligible for SSDI, a worker must have made sufficient prior tax payments to the government while he or she was working. Once eligible, the amount of disability payment under this program based upon the disabled person’s prior work and earnings. SSDI functions much like an insurance program. If you aren’t covered at the time of the disability, you aren’t entitled to the benefits.
The second disability program, SSI, is not based on insurance. It is based on financial need. There are specific income and assets limits that apply to determine whether a person is eligible.
Under both programs, the evidence must show that:
- the claimant suffers from a medically determinable impairment;
- the impairment is severe;
- the impairment has lasted or is expected to last more than 12 months; and
- impairment meets or is the equivalent of a “listed impairment”, prevents the person from performing past relevant work, or prevents any other work based on the person’s functional capacity.
Both SSDI and SSI are based on intricate, heavily regulated federal government processes. They can be confusing even for attorneys who haven’t practiced in this area. For this reason, if you are applying for these programs or if you have been denied benefits under these programs, you should engage experienced counsel.
At Sandler Law Group we work with Social Security Attorneys who are experts in negotiation the unique structure of these types of claims. When the Social Security Administration denies your claim, don’t give up. Call us today at (757) 627-8900. And don’t forget to visit our Resources page, where you can download our publications: A Guide to the Social Security Disability Claims Process and a Guide to the Sequential Evaluation in a Social Security Disability Claim.