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For many, Social Security disability benefits provide a financial lifeline while recovering from or living with a disability. They consist of monthly payments and/or Medicare benefits that provide compensation to those who are totally disabled from performing work of any kind.
Benefits can be obtained through two related programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Though the programs are both overseen by the Social Security Administration, they are very different.
Social Security Disability Insurance is available to those who are under 65 years of age and have met a required number of “work credits”—the number of years someone has spent employed at a job where they pay social security taxes (also called FICA). Supplemental Security Income is available to low-income individuals who have not worked the required number of years to qualify for SSDI. An SSI claimant must have an income higher than the “federal benefit rate” which, for 2013, stands at $710 per month for individuals and $1,066 for couples. SSI claimants must also not have more than $2,000 in assets ($3,000 for couples).
Both programs have medical requirements. An injury must be severe—that is, it must directly interfere with work-related activities—and be long-term, lasting at least one year.
Disability benefits through these programs are notoriously difficult to obtain. Many claimants are turned away when they first apply, even though these decisions are often overturned on appeal. An experienced disability lawyer who is familiar with the system and its regulations can assist you and your family through this complex, bureaucratic process.
Contact Ashcraft & Gerel for Help with Your SSI or SSDI Claim
Ashcraft & Gerel’s Social Security Disability lawyers handle a large number of claims and would be happy to have one of our social security attorneys work with you. If your initial SSI or SSDI claim has been denied, do not hesitate to speak with an attorney and begin the appeal process. Please call or email us today to discuss how to get started.