Chicago Social Security Disability Attorneys

Illinois Supplemental Security Income Lawyers

Social Security FAQs

What is the difference between Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) is basically an insurance program that is funded by federal payroll taxes. Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSDI does not require an applicant to satisfy certain financial requirements, but rather, a person must show that he or she has a physical or mental medical condition that prevents him or her from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” and the condition is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death; he or she is under the age of 65; and he or she has earned enough “work credits”.

Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program that requires the applicants satisfy certain financial limitations on income and assets. Applicants must also have a medical condition that qualifies as a disability.

What is the social security benefits claims process?

The social security disability claim process begins by filing an application with the Social Security Administration. Before you file your application, you will want to have certain information and documentation and assembled so that it can be provided with the application. After your social security disability claim has been filed, your claim will be submitted to a State Disability Determination Agency to gather additional information and to make an initial determination on your social security disability claim.

What can I do if my claim is denied?

If your social security disability claim is denied, a Request for Reconsideration may be filed with the State Disability Determination Agency and a new adjudicator may be assigned to review the claim. If a Request for Reconsideration of your social security disability claim is denied, a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge may then be filed.

Will I continue to receive social security benefits while I am appealing a denial?

You may continue to receive social security disability benefits while a denial appeal is underway in the following two situations: (1) you are appealing a decision that you can no longer receive social security ¬disability benefits because the medical condition is not disabling; or (2) you are appealing a decision that you are no longer eligible for SSI payments or that your SSI payment should be reduced or suspended.

Are my family members eligible for any benefits?

Social Security Disability programs provide benefits not only to the disabled person, but in certain situations, disability support benefits may also be paid to the spouse, a divorced spouse, children and disabled children.

If eligible for disability support benefits, each family member could receive a monthly benefit of up to 50 percent of the disabled person’s disability rate. There is a limitation, however, on the total amount of disability support benefits that can be paid, which is generally about 50 to 80 percent of the disabled person’s total benefits.

Can I have a job and still receive social security benefits?

Yes, you may still be able to work while receiving social security disability benefits but there are limits on the number of hours and income that can be earned. If you are receiving SSD benefits, you may not earn more than the “substantial gainful activity” amount determined by the Social Security Administration. If you are receiving SSI benefits, any amount of income earned will proportionately decrease the amount of your benefits.

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