Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability

What happens when you are unable to work due to a temporary or permanent injury, illness, or disability – particularly if you are the primary breadwinner? Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) can help your financial situation, as you work towards healing or restructuring your life and your budget without the benefit of employer-provided income. Hakim, Toma & Yaldoo can help you navigate the confusing process of applying for SSDI benefits, and assist you in successfully resubmitting your claim if you have been denied SSDI benefits.

What is the Difference Between Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits?

  • Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits are available to anyone who qualifies, regardless of financial need, and provides monthly cash benefits. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must prove that your medical condition is life threatening, long-term (12 months or more) or permanent. You also must also have worked for a certain number of years and have paid into FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) as an employee. After receiving SSDI for two years, you may be eligible for Medicare. If you are not eligible for SSDI, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation or other shorter-term government relief.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is need-based. That means you must have limited income and assets to qualify. Most people who qualify for SSI also qualify for food stamps. Both programs are run by the Social Security Administration.

How Do I Know If I Qualify for SSDI Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a number of criteria to determine whether or not someone actually qualifies to receive social security benefits. They will often take a look at whether or not you can be gainfully employed with your condition, the severity of your condition, your age, and a number of other factors when determining both whether or not you qualify for benefits, and if you do, how much you will receive. The best way to know for sure if you qualify is to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the SSA and their policies and procedures.

What Happens If My SSDI Application is Denied?

Most SSDI applications are denied the first time you apply, even if you have a strong claim. Most applicants go through a series of appeals before winning benefits. If your claim is initially denied, once it is approved, you’ll receive back pay from the date you first filed. Utilizing the services of a knowledgeable law firm can increase the chances that your appeal will be successful.

How Do I Know if I Need a Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives as many as two million applications per year – they also deny over 60% of all initial applications. Most people make simple or avoidable mistakes on the application that they didn’t otherwise know about because they’re simply not familiar with the process. Having an attorney on your side can be invaluable when it comes to analyzing your case, submitting your initial application, and then preparing for any necessary appeals you may wish to pursue.

How Long Will My SSDI Case Take?

Each case differs, but generally, the more serious your condition, the more likely your claim will be approved quickly. Some individuals qualify for expedited decisions when they have extremely serious conditions through a program known as “compassionate allowances” or for having certain medical conditions.

Can I Return to Work Without Losing My SSDI Benefits?

In some cases, you can return to work on a temporary basis without losing your SSDI benefits. You may work for nine months to test your ability in the workplace, with no risk of losing benefits. The SSA refers to that as a trial work period. Even after the trial period, SSDI may still provide a safety net that allows you to work another three years. During that time, you can get benefits as long as you do not earn more than $1,740 monthly (if you are blind) or $1,040 per month (if not blind).

If you need to file for SSDI benefits, or your SSDI application has been denied, call Hakim, Toma & Yaldoo. We are here to help.

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Fadi Toma

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