The Differences Between SSDI and SSI Benefits
SSI benefits are intended to meet the needs of blind and disabled individuals who would otherwise have difficulty paying for their shelter and food. SSI benefits are means-tested, and only applicants that fall under the means test limit will qualify. The SSA employs a strict set of financial requirements for SSI applicants, making it difficult for many people to qualify. SSI benefits begin on the first full month after the date the applicant filed the claim, or on the date, the SSA found the applicant eligible for SSI if that date is later.
By contrast, SSDI benefits are available for individuals who have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition or disability with qualifying work credits. The longer an applicant has worked and paid into the Social Security system, the more work credits he or she will have. If you do not have enough qualifying work credits, you may qualify for SSI benefits, but you won’t be eligible for SSDI benefits. Having a qualifying disability is not enough to become eligible for SSDI benefits.
You will also need to show that you have enough work credits through your own employment history or, in some cases, through your spouse’s or parents’ employment history. An applicant can qualify for both SSDI and SSI benefits, as long as the individual applying is an adult with a disability and has enough work credits.
Filing an SSDI or SSI Application in San Francisco
The first step to qualifying for SSI or SSDI benefits is to file an application. This process can be overwhelming because the applicant must fill in all information correctly and include all of the required supplemental documents. As an applicant, you will need to provide a detailed work history and all of your pertinent medical records. The more records you have, the better. The Social Security examiner will comb through your application to determine whether your medical condition or disability is severe enough to warrant SSDI benefits.
At Disability Advocates Group, we can help you secure a thorough medical evaluation and gather all of the evidence you’ll need to successfully obtain benefits. We focus our legal practice on helping clients secure SSDI and SSI benefits, and we know all of the common mistakes applicants make that lead to a rejection of their applications. We will help you complete a thorough application that will increase your chances of success.
Appealing an SSDI Claims Denial
Unfortunately, the SSA denies most first-time SSDI and SSI applications. There is a strong possibility that you may need to appeal a denial of your claim. Importantly, the statute of limitations for appealing your claim is very tight, and you will need to submit a request for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your denial. There are several levels of appeal, and many of our clients need to attend an administrative hearing. At the administrative hearing, an administrative law judge will ask you and vocational expert questions to determine whether your disability makes it difficult, if not impossible, for you to maintain gainful employment. Having an experienced lawyer by your side during the appeals process is tremendously important.
The Benefits of Hiring a San Francisco SSDI Lawyer
The process of applying for SSDI or SSI benefits can be frustrating and lengthy. Many San Francisco Social Security Disability applicants need to wait long periods before they begin receiving payments. If you need to apply for SSDI or SSI benefits, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced lawyer who will ensure that you submit an accurate and thorough application. Making a simple mistake or not including all of the required paperwork can result in your application being dismissed.
Contact Our San Francisco Social Security Lawyers Today
If you or your loved one cannot work because of a disability, you may be entitled to benefits through the Social Security Administration. It’s worth taking the time to consider whether or not you’re eligible for benefits that could help meet you and your loved ones’ needs. At Disability Advocates Group, our experienced legal team can review your case and advise you on whether you’re qualified for SSDI or SSI benefits. We will help you submit an application and appeal your claim when necessary. Contact Disability Advocates Group today to schedule your initial consultation.
The San Francisco Social Security Offices are located at:
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco, CA 94110
San Francisco, CA 94108