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FAQ - Social Security Claims
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What is SSDI? What is SSI?

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a federal "insurance program" for people who are unable to work because of a disability. Like other insurance, you must have paid into it to qualify--in other words, you must have paid into Social Security at some point.

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a different program also through Social Security that is funded by tax revenues. It pays monthly benefits to people with disabilities who have low income and few material assets. Children may receive SSI in some situations.

How is "Disability" Defined by Social Security?

"Disability" is the incapacity to engage in any substantial gainful employment due to any medically determinable physical or mental impairment. This impairment must be expected to result in death, or it has lasted or might last for one year.

How Can I Ensure that I Will Be Awarded Benefits?

With your doctor on your side, you should begin to collect data, documentation, and proof of your condition and it's impact on your ability to work. No one can guarantee you will be awarded benefits.

Do I Need to Hire an Advocate?

The Social Security Administration does not require that you have an advocate or representative. Having an advocate on your side is, however, affordable and recommended. With an expert working on your behalf, you will have an advantage at every stage of the process.

What Will I Need to Do to Apply?

First, you will have to provide a birth certificate or proof of citizenship. During the process, you may have to provide military documents, marriage certificates, or paystubs. You will be asked detailed questions about your history, family, work, health, and medical background.

When Will I Know if my Claim Has Been Approved or Denied?

This varies depending on the state you are in and depending at which office you file. It may take, however, between 3-6 months. If initially denied, reconsideration can take about 3 months. A second appeal, if needed, can take substantially longer (one year or more).

If my Claim is Approved, Can I Work in Any Capacity?

If approved for SSDI, you will have the option of working for 9 months to see if working will be plausible in your situation. If you earn more than $900/month, your SSDI will be denied automatically. If you qualify for SSI (qualification is based on low-income status), your benefits will be reduced as you work more.

How Much Will My Monthly Benefits Be?

It is hard to estimate what your benefits will be because there are so many factors that are considered in the calculation. On average, SSDI benefits will replace just under half of what you were previously earning. The national average is just over $800.

For any other questions, please call us at (734)425-1074

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