Why You Need a Social Security Lawyer Advocating For You
Getting Social Security benefits can be a complicated process, and the SSA has significant discretion in determining whether to award benefits. If you are unable to work and have no income, it is critical that you start receiving your benefits as soon as possible so you can pay your bills and keep food on your table.
Here are some of the specific ways that a Social Security lawyer in Little Rock can help you get your benefits as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will:
- Determine whether you are eligible for Social Security benefits
- Help you fill out the paperwork associated with applying for Social Security benefits
- Gather and submit supporting documentation regarding your medical condition
- File an appeal on your behalf, if necessary
- Represent you before an administrative law judge (ALJ) should your case require a hearing
- File a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled
Am I Eligible for Social Security Benefits?
In order to be eligible for benefits, you must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability, which is different from other government programs. In order to be considered disabled for the purposes of receiving benefits, you must not be able to do the work that you did before you became disabled, the agency decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition or conditions, and your disability is expected to last for at least one year or be terminal.
Other requirements include…
Eligibility for Social Security Disability:
- Disability (as defined above)
- Sufficient work credits through own/family employment – these credits are based on your wages or income from self-employment, and you can earn up to four credits each year. Generally, you need forty credits in order to qualify for SSDI benefits, but younger people who have become disabled may still be able to qualify with fewer credits.
Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income:
- Age (65+) OR blindness (any age) OR disability (any age)
- Limited/no income and resources – less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Attorneys
Supplemental Security Income is a program that is generally needs-based, according to assets and income, and is funded by general fund taxes (not from the Social Security trust fund).
Disabled people who are eligible under the income requirements for SSI also automatically qualify to receive Medicaid in most states, including Arkansas.
According to data from the Social Security Administration, the average monthly payment to claimants is $577.07 as of May 2020. Benefits will begin on the first of the month after the date the claim was filed or, if later, the date found eligible for SSI.
Learn more about how to appeal an SSI denial on our Supplemental Security Income page.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Lawyers
Social Security Disability Insurance is a program for people who are considered “insured” because they have worked a number of years and made contributions to the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA payroll taxes.
There is a five-month waiting period for benefits, meaning that the Social Security Administration won’t pay you benefits for the first five months after you’ve become disabled. After receiving SSDI for 24 months, a disabled person will automatically become eligible for Medicare.
According to the SSA, the average monthly benefit to claimants is $1,390.12 as of May 2020; however, the ultimate amount will depend upon your earnings record, much like the Social Security retirement benefit.
Learn more about how to appeal an SSDI denial on our Social Security Disability Insurance page.
The Difference Between SSI and SSDI
The major difference is that SSI determination is based on disability/age and limited resources/income and SSDI determination is based on disability and work credits.
In short, SSI disability benefits may be available to low-income individuals who haven’t earned enough—or any at all—work credits to qualify for SSDI. If you have both limited resources/income and a work history, you may qualify for both benefits.
Contact The Brad Hendricks Law Firm Today to Speak with a Little Rock SSDI Lawyer
If you are disabled and are considering applying for benefits or have already applied and had your application denied, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. At The Brad Hendricks Law Firm, we understand how important it is for disabled people to get their benefits as soon as possible, and we do everything we can to ensure that our clients’ Social Security applications are accepted as quickly as possible.
Contact us online or call us at (501) 550-4090 or toll-free at (866) 534-5284 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Let The Brad Hendricks Law Firm’s experienced attorneys help you secure your Social Security benefits. For additional information, visit our Social Security Disability FAQs.