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Social Security Disability: What You Need To Know

The Social Security Act provides two types of benefits for disabled individuals: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It can be difficult to understand your options. Miller & Caggiano, LLP, is here to help. We have worked with clients throughout New York for over 20 years.

Understanding The Specifics Of Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is for individuals who have worked and contributed to the federal governments’ Social Security account. This is paid in the form of taxes deducted from your weekly paycheck. You earn quarters of coverage based on your tax contribution. To qualify for SSD benefits, you must have worked for a long enough period prior to your disability. To meet the required number of quarters, an individual must work five out of the last 10 years. Younger workers may also qualify with fewer quarters.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income is a need-based benefit for disabled individuals who are not covered by the SSD program for lack of enough quarters worked. These benefits are determined based on household income and assets. The standard in determining whether an individual is disabled is the same as the standard set forth for SSD.

When filing for SSD/SSI benefits, the applicant must be out of work or expect to be out of work for one year consecutively. Failure to file an application at least 12 months after you stop working may result in receiving less retroactive benefits for the applicant and their dependents. There is a five-month waiting period from the date of disablement before an applicant can receive benefits. If you suffered your disabling injury or illness in the workplace, workers’ compensation benefits may also come into play. We can help you determine how these benefits may work together.

Filing The Initial Application

To commence a claim, you must file an application with the local social security district office. Thereafter the application is forwarded to the state agency for medical development. The majority of applications are denied at the initial level. This is in no way an indication of your true disability status.

If You’ve Been Denied

If you are denied at the initial level, you must file an appeal of this determination within 60 days. The appeal is in the form of a request for a hearing before a federal administrative law judge. This is when it is of the utmost importance that all the medical records are reviewed, updated and prepared for proper submission. It is possible at this stage to receive a favorable decision before the hearing but after the initial denial.

Attending A Hearing

If we do proceed to a hearing before the federal administrative law judge, a clear and concise picture must be present through the your testimony and the medical evidence in the record. An administrative law judge will not render a decision at the hearing. A written decision will be sent within approximately six weeks. With a favorable decision, benefits usually begin soon thereafter. If the decision is not favorable, an appeal to the Appeals Council must be filed within 60 days.

Call Today To Discuss Your Options

We are here to answer your questions. We have two convenient office locations in Bohemia and Carle Place and serve clients throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 631-821-7700 or reach out online.