The US Federal Government has two basic programs to help those who cannot help themselves. SSI, Supplemental Security Income focuses on the blind, aged and disabled with limited assets. SSDI on the other hand is geared towards those who cannot achieve gainful employment due to a permanent disability.
SSI, although managed by Social Security is actually funded from the general tax fund. SSDI is funded by a tax that is paid from income. Anyone that has worked long enough to accrue sufficient credits and meets the definition of disability per the SSA “Blue Book” can theoretically qualify for disability benefits.
Could you qualify for benefits?
The simple definition makes it seem that anyone that meets this rather simple set of conditions can expect to qualify. Unfortunately, there is a great deal more to it than that, so much so that most applicants feel that they are better off turning to a Social Security lawyer in Chicago than trying to deal with the complexities unaided.
The disability must be expected to last or has already lasted more than 12 months and the condition must be such that the disabled individual is unable to earn more than $1166 per month. In addition, the applicant must have accrued 40 work credits, of these, 20 credits must have been earned in the ten years preceding the onset of the disability. It is possible to earn four work credits annually so it is easy to see that to qualify, the applicant must have a very good work record, and paid FICA during the period.
Do you need a lawyer?
No, you do not need a lawyer but you are much better off when you arrange to be represented by a Social Security lawyer in Chicago. The process can quickly overwhelm a layperson, this is especially true when the application is rejected and the process moves on to the appeal stage.
If you are planning on claiming disability benefits you are well advised to hire a Social Security lawyer in Chicago. You are invited to discuss your potential claim with The Law Offices of Rabin, Kodner & Brown, Ltd and also follow our Twitter page.