Social Security Disability (SSDI)

Social Security Disability in Utica, NY

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:

Musculoskeletal Disorders:

  • Arthritis
  • Spinal disorders
  • Amputations
  • Chronic pain syndromes

Cardiovascular Conditions:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Chronic heart failure

Neurological Disorders:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cerebral palsy

Mental Health Conditions:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorders

Respiratory Disorders:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Long COVID

Immune System Disorders:

  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis


  • Various types of cancer, depending on severity and stage
    Kidney and Renal Disorders:
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Dialysis dependence

Digestive Disorders:

  • 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

Autoimmune Disorders:

  • Scleroderma
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Myasthenia gravis

Rare Disorders:

  • 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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Main Office

148 W Dominick St
Rome, NY 13440

Rochester Office

130 West Main St.
Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14614

Utica Office

1520 Genesee Street,
Suite 1,
Utica, NY 13502

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SSDI Frequently Asked Questions

Do you qualify for SSD?

To qualify, you must first determine if you are insured. The Antonowicz Group understands the formula used to determine eligibility. You must also have worked enough and have enough credits to qualify. You must also have a diagnosed medical condition that has or will prevent you from working for at least 12 months.

When people over 50 become disabled, it is more difficult for them to work in any capacity. The Social Security Administration has a separate set of rules of eligibility in these cases. The Antonowicz Group has extensive experience in this area.

The unfortunate truth is that the majority of Social Security Disability applications are initially denied, usually because the applications fail to meet the Social Security Administration requirements. This does not always mean the applicants do not meet the standards of disability, but the criteria for qualification is rigorous. Before applying, visit the U.S. Social Security Administration’s website and carefully review the checklist, gather necessary documents, bank information and tax forms, and medical records. Schedule a consultation.

Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are different from DOD and VA benefits, and have an application process that can be difficult or daunting without experienced guidance. That’s what the Antonowicz Group is all about. If you became disabled during active service in the military on or after Oct 1st, 2001, the review of your Social Security application is expedited. Even so, there are things we can help you through to hasten the processing and approval of your application. Give us a call at the Antonowicz Group and let’s schedule a free consultation with you over your options.

If you are disabled from performing the physical duties of your old job, but are able to conduct another type of full-time work, even in another industry, you will not qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration does not consider part-time work when determining eligibility.

Injured service veterans receive benefits from organizations like the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), but only a small number receive the Social Security benefits they are entitled to receive. Make sure your ailments are always properly documented and apply for Social Security benefits if your injuries will prevent you from working.

Supplemental Security
Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income is a two-part test to obtain disability benefits, similar to Social Security Disability Insurance.

The difference is that SSI must fall in a specific threshold for assets or income. Multiple factors can affect this, such as whether or not a claimant resides with family or others contributing to the household. Claims are usually rejected because the claimants do not understand these requirements or know how to proceed, and that’s why the Antonowicz Group is here to help.

SSI Case Lawyer Rome & Utica, NY

Illnesses and Injuries

SSD/SSI Illnesses and Injuries

Certain types of illnesses and injuries qualify for the Social Security Administration's list of acceptable impairments. Some information about common
SSD/SSI illnesses and injuries are listed below, however this is not a complete list.
Contact us if you have a question about a specific illness or injury.

Qualifying symptoms must be severe, but include medically diagnosed conditions such as:

– Depression
– Bipolar disorder or manic depression
– Anxiety disorders
– Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
– Mental, emotional and cognitive disorders resulting from traumatic brain injuries
– Schizophrenia
– Schizoaffective disorder
– Learning disabilities

The Antonowicz Group can guide you in gathering the information you need to submit your claim successfully and provide support and helpful information so you can make the right decisions. There are literally thousands of medical conditions experienced by our clients. The list below is only a partial list of the types of medical conditions with which we have experience.

Back and neck injuries, such as herniated disks, can be debilitating to those working physical labor and standing jobs, as well as desk or sitting jobs. This can be worse if the injury is spine-related. Shoulder, hip and joint impairments are also debilitating and sometimes disabling. If an injury or medical condition has prevented or will prevent you from working for 12 months or more, you may qualify for SSD benefits. Contact the Antonowicz Group to find out more!

Fibromyalgia is a diagnosable medical condition that involves persistent pain for a period of three months or longer. It can accompany diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis but it can be a diagnosable condition on its own. Social Security benefits for fibromyalgia can be difficult as many applications for this condition are initially denied. The Antonowicz Group is aware of the Social Security Administration requirements to obtain benefits for fibromyalgia and can help you through your claim process.

Traumatic brain injuries can cause years of debilitation, and sometimes permanent disability. If you are suffering from TBI symptoms, give us a call for assistance. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, vertigo and trouble standing or walking, concentration and memory problems, mood swings, light sensitivity, fatigue or sleep disorders could all be related to TBI. This as well as chronic migraines could qualify for Social Security benefits, if they are medically diagnosed as severe enough.

There are literally countless conditions that could be severe disabilities and claimable under Social Security Disability. No matter the medical condition that is preventing you from working – call us for help. It is very rare that a person comes in with medical condition that we have not already successfully used as a cause for a disability award through the Social Security Administration.

SSD/SSI Appeals
and Denied Claims

The Antonowicz Group deals with denied disability claims on a regular basis and we have a deep understanding of the terms and conditions that must be met in a claim.

We do not win them all and anyone who claims to do so is misleading you. Unfortunately, a rejected claim on appeal can take up to years to resolve, so proper preparation and documentation is critical to avoiding this. However, experience and resolve are essential when appeal cannot be avoided. The Antonowicz Group is highly experienced with this and we have sued the Social Security Administration in U.S. District Court many times. Most national and large firms refuse to sue the Social Security Administration. We will. We are ready to go the extra mile if necessary.

The definition of “work” from the SSA – “The Social Security Administration does not consider part-time work paying less than $1260 per month when determining eligibility.

SSI Case Attorney Rochester & Buffalo, NY

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Rochester Office

130 West Main St.
Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14614 (By Appointment Only)

Main Office

148 W Dominick St
Rome, NY 13440

Utica Office

1520 Genesee Street,
Suite 1,
Utica, NY 13502 (By Appointment Only)

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    Antonowicz Group - Social Security Disability Lawyers Rome & Utica, NY
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