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Social Security Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Social Security disability insurance benefits program (SSD) and the supplemental security income program (SSI)?

Title II of the Social Security Act provides for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits to be paid to workers who become disabled and unable to work. These claimants must show that they worked a certain length of time in the period before they became disabled.
The supplemental security income program (SSI), authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, provides benefits to disabled individuals whose income and assets fall below a specified level.
Although the eligibility criteria differs under the two programs, many standards and procedures required for determining disability are the same.

Who can collect Social Security disability benefits? Am I entitled to benefits?

Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are financed by a tax on wages, and to recover such benefits, you must show that you worked long enough and recently enough in a job covered by Social Security. You must also show by sufficient medical evidence that you have a severe physical or mental impairment, or a combination of both, that will last at least 12 months or result in death. Furthermore, you must show that this disability prevents you from performing any type of generally available employment.

How do I apply for SSD benefits? Do I need a lawyer to apply?

You can call or visit your local Social Security Administration Office, and even apply for benefits online. And you do not need an attorney in order to submit an application. However, an experienced Social Security attorney can help you collect and assert all of the necessary information needed for smooth processing of your claim.

My Social Security disability application was denied. What should I do now?

There are three steps involved in a Social Security administrative appeal. First, you can seek a reconsideration of your claim, which triggers a complete review by the Administration of its initial decision. If you are still denied benefits, request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If that decision is against you, you may seek review by the appeal council. A claimant dissatisfied with the final appeal decision may sue in federal court within 60 days of that decision. Contact the Social Security attorneys at Steuer, Escovar & Coleman Co. LPA for information on presenting your strongest appeal.
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