Frequently Asked Questions About SSDI & SSI
Have questions about your Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income case? Need help navigating the process of filing a claim or appealing a denied claim? At Coats & Todd, we can provide you with the personalized answers and general information you need regarding the Social Security program.
Here, we’ve compiled some commonly asked questions about Social Security disability, as well as answers from our Dallas Social Security disability lawyers. Browse our Social Security disability FAQs to find the answers and information you need.
Don’t see your question here? Need more personalized information about your specific case? Contact us directly to request a free, no-obligation consultation!
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Individuals who are disabled or blind will need to have paid Social Security taxes to be eligible for insurance benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Additionally, to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you will need to have earned the minimum required work credits. Other differences include the payment and medical coverage available from the two programs.
In contrast, you do not need to have earned any work credits or have paid Social Security taxes in order to receive Supplemental Security Income. This means you can qualify for SSI even if you have never worked. In fact, SSI is designed to assist low-income and low-resource individuals who may have never been able to earn wages due to a disability or disabling condition.
To be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, a disabled individual will need to meet different criteria, including (but not limited to):
- Having limited income
- Having limited resources
- Being a United States citizen or national
- Living in the U.S. or Northern Mariana Islands
What are the benefits of hiring a disability advocate who is also a lawyer?
With the help of a disability advocate who is also an attorney, you ensure that you have someone representing you who has passed the accrediting requirements to provide adequate representation under the law. He or she will have undergone legal training and will have graduated from law school and passed the Bar exam. Moreover, attorneys are subject to strict ethical requirements and must follow ongoing, continuing education to ensure they are familiar with changes in the law. These are just some of the advantages of hiring an advocate who is a licensed attorney.
Who is eligible for disability benefits from Social Security?
Under Social Security laws, individuals are only considered disabled if a medical condition is expected to keep them from working for a minimum of 12 months or is expected to result in death. The disability can either be a physical condition, mental condition, or a combination of both.
If I need to apply for benefits, what should I do?
You will need to contact the Social Security Administration either online, by phone, or in person to file an application for disability benefits (visit our SSD Qualifications page to learn more). You should have all of your information available so that you can ensure an application is correctly filed. This includes information regarding medical conditions, medication, treatment, and work history. Contact our firm today to help get you started.
Am I required to wait a certain amount of time before filing for SSD benefits?
You should file for Social Security disability benefits as soon as possible. Disability applications can take a very long time to be processed, and if you know that you will be out of work for a minimum of a year, you should start right away.
Why should I hire an attorney?
Working with an attorney on your Social Security disability case presents a number of advantages. First, determining whether you are even qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, or both can be complicated. An attorney will be familiar with the law and can help you determine if you eligible for benefits, as well as which benefits you can seek. Second, correctly filing your application for SSDI or SSI is incredibly important; any mistakes on your application could result in delays or even a denial of your claim. An attorney can ensure that you correctly and fully fill out all applicable information and correctly file your claim. If your claim is denied—which is not at all uncommon—you will definitely want an experienced attorney who can help you appeal the denial.
At Coats & Todd, we have over 60 years of collective experience and have helped thousands of individuals successfully recover their rightful Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income. Our Dallas-Fort Worth Social Security disability lawyers focus solely on this area of law, meaning we are able to dedicate all of our time, efforts, and resources to helping you navigate the Social Security disability process. We understand that every case is unique, which is why we offer compassionate, personalized guidance and client-focused representation every step of the way. By working with an attorney, you improve the chances of a better, faster resolution to your case.