Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). They are meant to provide a safety net to disabled Americans and their families when working is no longer possible. Unfortunately, many claims are initially denied for medical and non-medical reasons. If you are dealing with the SSDI or SSI appeals process, a Social Security lawyer may be your best chance to prove your disability claim to the SSA or Office of Hearings Operations (OHO).
SSDI is a program designed for people who have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system, thereby earning work credits. If an individual is determined to be disabled, the individual will receive SSDI benefits regardless of the individual’s income or assets. SSDI benefits begin 5 months after the onset date of your disability. SSDI benefits can be paid retroactively for up to 12 months prior to your initial application depending on your date of disability but subject to the 5-month waiting period.
SSI is a “needs-based” program designed to pay benefits to disabled people who need help with basic living costs, even if they haven’t worked or paid taxes into the Social Security system. To qualify for SSI payments, a claimant cannot have family assets or income over a certain limit. SSI benefits begin the month of your disability onset date. However, no benefits will be paid for any time prior to the month you file your initial application.
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