Obtaining Social Security Disability benefits is often a long, frustrating, and difficult road. Over the years, the government has made it more and more difficult and complicated for the disabled person to get the help they need. Once upon a time, I advised people to file the initial application without assistance – maybe the case was obvious enough that they would not need a lawyer. Now, I advise people to obtain an attorney as early on as possible, or to at least speak with an attorney to determine the best time to engage an attorney. Because of the increasing difficulty in obtaining benefits, I now assess the need for early representation on a case-by-case basis and will assist in filing the initial application where necessary.
You may wonder what the difference is between Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) and Supplement Security Income (SSI). SSD is available for disabled people who have a consistent work history, have paid Social Security taxes (the mysterious FICA taxes on your paycheck stub) and have earned enough work credits to be covered. SSI is available to disabled people who have not worked, worked sporadically, worked too long ago, or for other reasons, are not covered for SSD.
For more information about SSD and SSI, go to the Social Security website and follow the link for “Benefits” at the top of the page.
Proving disability is a complex process – it is more than merely providing your doctors records and notes. Contact me to discuss how best for you to move forward.