Disability Advocates Group is a boutique practice focused on serving disabled individuals throughout Southern California. We have a working knowledge of the benefit programs offered by Social Security and a proven history of helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve. Whether you are filing an initial claim or need assistance with a disability appeal, we will provide you with compassionate representation and dependable service. When you become our client, our disability benefits attorneys will always stand by you and fight for your rights.

What are the differences between SSDI and SSI?

While both programs provide financial assistance to individuals who meet the definition of disabled, SSDI and SSI differ in terms of eligibility requirements and financial benefits.

SSDI is an entitlement program funded by FICA tax deductions that act as insurance in the event that someone suffers an illness or injury and is no longer able to work. Benefits under this program are based on factors such as the applicant’s age at the time he or she first became disabled and the length of time the applicant has worked and paid into the Social Security system.

SSI, on the other hand, is a means-tested program that is financed by general tax revenues. As such, these benefits are only available to those who are disabled, blind and over the age of 65 who demonstrate financial need.

The Social Security Administration provides two disability programs:

Cropped view of a senior woman receiving help with her finances from her granddaughter

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is provided to disabled individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 who have paid into the Social Security system through income tax deductions, regardless of their financial resources.

Mature blind man with a long white cane walking in park with his guide dog.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed for those who are disabled, blind or over the age of 65, who have limited financial means ($2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a married couple).

What types of financial benefits are available under each program?

The financial benefits of each program differ greatly.  There are various factors that go into determining what your monthly SSI benefit will be including your current living situation and the state you live in.  The amount of the monthly SSI benefit may be reduced by any income the claimant receives. Because SSDI is based on a person’s earnings record, the monthly benefit is typically much higher than the monthly SSI payment. The average monthly SSDI benefit is currently $1,258 per month and the maximum benefit amount in 2020 is $3,011.

Do SSDI and SSI provide medical benefits?

Recipients of SSDI are permitted to enroll in Medicare 2 years after they become eligible for SSDI. Although this federal program provides coverage for primary medical care and routine hospital services, there is a gap in coverage, which means that recipients may need to obtain supplemental health insurance. By contrast, SSI beneficiaries are automatically eligible for Medicaid, the joint federal-state program that provides medical coverage to individuals with limited means.

doctor holding out a piece of paper to give to his patient

Do I qualify for disability benefits?

While SSDI and SSI differ in many respects, they are similar in terms of medical eligibility: your impairment must meet Social Security’s definition of disability: a permanent, total disability that (1) is expected to last at least 1 year and (2) will prevent you from performing the work you did previously or any other type of work.

Proving that you meet Social Security’s rules and regulations for medical eligibility can be very difficult.  Most importantly, your claim must be supported by medical evidence. If a disability examiner determines that your condition does not meet the definition of a disability or that your impairment is not severe enough to prevent you from working, your claim will be denied. The best way to protect your rights is to work with a capable disability lawyer.

Contact Our Los Angeles SSDI and SSI Attorney

If you have a medical condition that prevents you from working, you may be concerned about finding the treatment you need, paying the medical bills, and being able to support yourself. At Disability Advocates Group, we understand that you have many concerns and issues to address.  We believe that your disability claim should not be one of them – and we strive to make sure that you only receive first-class representation and caring, efficient service.

Our disability lawyers will work closely with you to make sure that your medical record and other documentation supports your claim. Above all, we will work tirelessly to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.

Disability Advocates Group handles all disability claims on a contingency basis, which means that you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win disability benefits for you. Please contact our office today so we can get started on your case.

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