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Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Overview

Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income Overview 

These programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits. There are many regulations that govern the determination and many deal with the persons, age, education, work history, nature of disability and ultimately their residual ability to sustain gainful activity.

Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid into the system in the form of Social Security taxes. This is important because once you cease to pay Social Security taxes; your insurable status has a limited life.

Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based upon disability and financial need.

When you apply to either program, the Social Security Administration will collect medical records and other information from the individual and all treating sources so as to make a decision as to whether or not you meet the definition of "Disabled" as set forth in the Social Security regulations. It is very important to provide a complete list of medical providers so as to allow the reviewers a full diagnosis of the disabling condition and the activities that are limited by the condition. Medications prescribed are also important especially if there are serious side effects associated with their use.

If the initial application is denied, there are strict time limits to appeal that decision and have the case heard before an Administrative Law Judge. At this point, it may be in the claimant's best interest to retain the services of an experienced Attorney who can assist in developing the case. These efforts can enhance the medical records and allow the information to be placed before the Judge in the best light affording the claimant the greatest opportunity to obtain benefits. Generally, Attorneys will handle these case based upon a fee agreement that is approved by the Social Security Administration allow for the fees to be paid from past due benefits. Claimants may incur costs for the compilation of the medical records obtained from the physicians.

Any individual who suffers from a condition or conditions that prevent them from engaging in gainful employment are well served to explore their options directly with the Social Security Administration and with an Attorney of their choice to determine if these programs can assist.

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Phone: 724-320-2388
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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law