Two types of Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits are available: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They appear similar at first glance, but there are notable differences between them. A Ponca City Social Security Disability lawyer can help you figure out if you qualify for either or both of these benefits.
The team at BDIW Law operates with integrity and compassion. Our Oklahoma Social Security Disability attorney can teach you all about SSD and SSI. Contact us today.
SSD vs. SSI
Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income are programs designed to give benefits to those who meet the requirements for a disability, according to the Social Security Administration. SSD pays benefits to individuals and their families based on whether they are “insured.” SSI offers benefits to adults and kids who are dealing with a qualifying disability and have limited income or resources.
Generally, SSD involves paying into a system, while SSI does not. Social Security Disability benefits are based on whether you worked a job covered by Social Security and are dealing with a disability that meets SSA’s requirements. Comparatively, Supplemental Security Income is offered based on financial need.
Even though SSD and SSI are two different programs, their respective medical requirements are identical. Those who meet the programs’ non-medical requirements are eligible to get monthly benefits. These are paid if you are coping with a medical condition that could last at least one year or result in death.
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How to Get SSD and SSI Benefits
You can apply for disability benefits online, over the phone, or in person at a local SSA office. The time it takes to process your application depends on the nature of your disability, if any medical evidence or examinations are required, and other factors. This process involves the following steps:
- Review the Adult Disability Checklist so you can gather the documents needed to ask for benefits.
- Fill out and submit your application.
- SSA review of your application to determine if you meet the basic eligibility requirements for benefits.
- Verification that you meet the required number of years to quality and an evaluation of your work activities (for SSD).
- Application processing and forwarding to Oklahoma’s Disability Determination Services (DDS) office.
- Final determination of whether your application is approved by DDS.
With SSD, you must meet SSA’s definition of a disability to secure benefits. Your health issue must prevent you from being able to work at a substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. It must also hamper your ability to perform the job you previously did and last a year or longer.
With Social Security Income, eligibility requirements include earning less than $1,971 from work each month, with an increase on this limit for couples and when parents apply on behalf of their kids. Those who request SSI benefits cannot have resources of $2,000 per individual or $3,000 per couple. If you are 64 or younger and want these benefits, you must be dealing with a disability that affects your ability to work for a year or longer, will result in death, or severely hampers your daily activity.
How Someone Can Get Both SSD and SSI
There are circumstances where an individual qualifies for both Social Security Disability and Social Security Income benefits. For example, you may live alone, pay into the SSD system based on your work history, and meet the financial requirements for SSI. In this example, you may be able to get both sets of disability benefits.
Regardless of whether you request SSD, SSI, or both types of benefits, you must meet SSA requirements for a disability. There are many reasons why the agency may decline your benefits request. These include:
- You did not provide enough medical evidence.
- You earn too much.
- Your medical condition does not qualify as a disability.
BDIW is an Oklahoma Social Security Disability law firm with plenty of experience. We can answer frequently asked questions and many others about denials of disability benefits and help you determine the next best steps if your request for SSD or SSI is rejected. For more information, get in touch with us.
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What to Do if SSA Rejects Your Request for Disability Benefits
A Social Security Disability attorney in Oklahoma can handle the appeals process on your behalf. They can walk you through all of your legal options. There are four stages for appealing a rejection of disability benefits:
1. Request for Reconsideration
When SSI or SSD benefits get denied, your first option involves asking a claims examiner to reevaluate your application. The examiner looks at the same factors that were considered when your application was originally submitted. They may find sufficient information that leads them to overturn the initial rejection.
2. Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
A Social Security Disability lawyer in Oklahoma can help you build a compelling argument to present to an ALJ. You have the opportunity to share evidence and have witnesses testify. The judge hears your case, and then issues a written decision.
3. Review by the Appeals Council
SSA’s Appeals Council can take a look at your case if an ALJ does not grant the decision you want. Council members determine if any mistakes were made when the judge evaluated your case. They may decide that the judge’s actions were not warranted, allowing you to receive benefits.
4. File a Lawsuit
Your attorney understands what you need to qualify for disability benefits in Oklahoma. If you have exhausted the previous three steps for your appeal, you still have the option to file a lawsuit with a federal court. This represents your final opportunity to prove that you meet the requirements for such benefits.
Hire an attorney who has experience with SSD and SSI claims. Your attorney can help you navigate the appeals process and avoid mistakes along the way. They will do everything within their power to prepare an argument that may lead to a reversal of SSA’s decision to reject your request for benefits.
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Get Legal Help with Your SSD or SSI Request
Partner with the team at BDIW Law for legal help with your SSD or SSI request. We are available to discuss your case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today.
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