If you qualify for social security benefits, you should be able to access the benefits without a hassle. However, this is not always the case. Given the large number of people who seek Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI) benefits, the application process is cumbersome. Many people have to go for long periods without the benefits or even give up on the benefits. If you need help accessing social security benefits, contact an experienced social security disability attorney.
Difference Between SSDI and SSI Benefits
The Social Security Administration, commonly abbreviated as SSA, operates two programs that offer benefits to people with disabilities that make them unable to work. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program available to people who used to work but developed an incapacitating disability. Under this program, applicants are persons who made significant contributions to social security.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available to people with severe disabilities who have never worked before. It is also available to elderly, poverty-stricken persons.
Eligibility for Social Security Benefits
The SSDI is an insurance program. Therefore, an applicant must have worked long enough and contributed social security taxes through employment to be eligible. An applicant for SSDI benefits must also provide evidence that:
- They have a disability that prevents them from doing the work they used to do previously
- The disability has lasted for 12 months, or it is expected to last for at least 12 months or lead to death
- They have a disability or a medical condition that prevents them from participating in any other form of employment
When applying for SSDI benefits, you have to fill out and submit multiple records, including:
- Medical records to prove your disability
- Work history reports describing the work you have done in the last 15 years.
- Workers’ compensation claim records and orders if you suffered an occupational illness
For the best outcome, your SSDI application should outline your disability as one that is included under the SSA’s List of Impairments. If there is no specific diagnosis of your condition, you claim will likely be denied.
Why You Need an Attorney When Filing a Social Security Disability Claim
Most applicants have their initial applications for social security benefits denied due to the unfair bureaucracy behind the programs that help people with disabilities. If you or a loved one has been denied SSDI or SSI benefits, an attorney can help. An attorney will increase your chances of success and make the application process less of a burden by:
- Helping you to gather compelling evidence that communicates the nature of your disability and how the disability affects you
- Helping you to appeal the denial of your claim
- Helping you respond to a cessation of benefits notice
- Helping you to appeal a negative SSA’s ruling about your benefits
- Secure “backpay” on a wrongfully denied claim
- Prevent reduction or elimination of benefits
If you need reliable legal assistance in applying for SSDI or SSI benefits in Oklahoma, contact the Social Security Law Center. Our attorneys have extensive experience in securing SSI and SSDI benefits.