Social Security Disability (SSDI)
The Antonowicz Group – Social Security Disability Lawyers
For over 40 years the lawyers in the Antonowicz Group have assisted those throughout the state of New York applying for Social Security disability benefits. We specialize in helping our clients secure the Social Security disability benefits to which they are entitled.
Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income
In addition to disbursing monthly retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also administers these two disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). People often confuse the two, lumping them together in their minds, but they are really two separate programs.
While both programs aim to support individuals who cannot work due to disabilities, they have some key differences.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is typically for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes over a certain number of years. To qualify for SSDI, you must earn enough “work credits” by working and paying Social Security taxes. These credits are based on your work history, and the amount you receive in SSDI benefits depends on your past earnings.
Essentially, SSDI is like an insurance program that you pay into while you’re working, and then you can receive benefits if you become disabled and can’t work.
To qualify for SSDI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a specific list of medical conditions and criteria found in what is known as the “Blue Book.” While the list is extensive, here are some examples of diseases and conditions that may entitle a person to receive SSDI benefits:
- Spinal disorders
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Chronic heart failure
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cerebral palsy
Mental Health Conditions:
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Long COVID
Immune System Disorders:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Various types of cancer, depending on severity and stage
Kidney and Renal Disorders:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Dialysis dependence
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Liver disease
Vision and Hearing Loss:
- Blindness or severe vision impairment
- Deafness or severe hearing impairment
- Depending on complications and severity
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Myasthenia gravis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, AKA Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Huntington’s disease
Please note that meeting the medical criteria for a specific condition alone may not guarantee SSDI approval. The SSA also evaluates your ability to work, considering factors like age, education, and work history. Additionally, medical documentation and evidence are crucial to support your claim.
Consulting with a healthcare provider and seeking legal assistance from a Social Security Disability lawyer can be valuable steps in the application process. The SSA may update its list of qualifying conditions over time, so it’s essential to check its official website or consult with a legal expert for the most up-to-date information.
Supplemental Security Income
On the other hand, SSI is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. Unlike SSDI, SSI doesn’t require work history or work credits. To qualify for SSI, you must meet certain income and asset limits.
SSI is designed to help people who haven’t been able to work enough to earn SSDI or who have never worked at all, such as children with disabilities or adults with disabilities who didn’t work due to their condition.
To summarize the differences, SSDI is based on your work history and the Social Security taxes you’ve paid, while SSI is a needs-based program for people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. Both programs aim to provide financial support to those in need but have different eligibility requirements and funding sources.
Reasons to Secure Assistance from Social Security Disability Lawyers
If you think you might qualify for either SSDI or SSI, it is highly advisable to seek the assistance of a Social Security Disability lawyer for several important reasons.
- Complex Rules and Paperwork: Applying for disability benefits can be quite complicated. There are many rules, forms, and documents to understand and complete. A lawyer can guide you through this maze, making sure everything is done correctly to improve your chances of approval.
- Proving Disability: One of the most crucial aspects is proving that your disability is severe enough to prevent you from working. A lawyer can help gather and present medical evidence, such as doctor’s reports and test results, to support your case effectively.
- Denial Appeals: If your initial application is denied, which happens to many people, a lawyer can be very helpful. They can navigate the appeals process, gather more evidence, and argue your case before an administrative law judge, and if necessary, all the way to the federal courts.
- Understanding the Law: Social Security laws and regulations can be tricky to understand. A lawyer is trained in these laws and can interpret them to your advantage, ensuring you meet all the necessary criteria.
- Maximizing Benefits: A lawyer can help determine if there are ways to increase the amount of benefits you receive or if you’re eligible for other benefits.
- Reducing Stress: Dealing with a disability can be stressful, and navigating the application process can add to that stress. A lawyer can handle much of the paperwork and legal matters, allowing you to focus on your health and well-being.
- Better Odds: Statistics show that people who use lawyers when applying for disability benefits tend to have a higher chance of approval. Lawyers know the system and how to present your case in the best possible light.
In summary, legal representation by a Social Security Disability lawyer can be a valuable asset when applying for SSDI or SSI. They can simplify the process, increase your chances of approval, and help you navigate the complexities of the system, ultimately assisting you in getting the financial support you need when you’re unable to work due to a disability.
Legal Assistance from the Antonowicz Group
For residents of Utia, Rochester, and Rome, NY, seeking Social Security disability assistance, the Antonowicz Group is ready to assist you with our highly experienced legal support. With a record stretching back over 40 years of helping individuals secure crucial Social Security disability benefits, the disability attorneys in our law firm are here to guide you through the complexities of the claims and appeals processes.
If you are thinking of applying for Social Security disability benefits, either SSDI benefits or SSI, we urge you to reach out to the Antonowicz Group for an initial free consultation. Our skilled attorneys understand the challenges you face and are ready to work closely with you to develop a winning strategy for securing the disability assistance you deserve.
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