SSD vs. SSI
The Social Security Administration has established two programs to help disabled individuals, Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While the average person probably has little idea that there is a distinction, these programs are actually quite different from each other and are designed for different types of claimants. The process of application and approval for both can be difficult, and it may be in your best interests to work with a Long Beach SSI attorney who can help you.
A Long Beach SSI Attorney on Determining Disability
“Disabled,” as it applies to applicants of these programs, is defined in a special way. The SSA has put together a large book referred to variously as the Blue Book and Listings of Impairments. Unfortunately, as your Long Beach SSI lawyer will tell you, this book is not comprehensive, and so, if your impairment is not listed, you will need to show how it meets or equals an impairment that is listed. For instance, if you suffer from a chronic headache that is not in the listings, you might refer to the entry for cluster or migraine headaches.
If your impairment does not equal or meet one in the listings, then you will need to show that your residual functional capacity (RFC) has diminished substantially. The SSA uses the Medical/Vocational Grids to this end. If this sounds complicated, it is, but, essentially, your RFC is your remaining ability to engage in meaningful work for SSD or in basic activities for SSI.
A Long Beach SSI Attorney Distinguishes between SSD and SSI
Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program, and a person’s eligibility hinges largely upon the claimant either having no income or very little. In addition, a claimant cannot have more than $2,000 worth of assets or $3,000 for a couple. The SSI program is paid for through the federal government’s general fund. It is worth noting that if you are found eligible for SSI you may very well qualify for Medicaid as well.
Social Security Disability, on the other hand, is based on a claimant being too disabled to work any job for at least 12 months. Applicants must have worked a minimum number of quarters during which they paid into the program to qualify. The program, then, is paid for by these contributions, which is why SSD is often referred to as a type of insurance.
The appeals process is the same for both, and a Long Beach SSI attorney will tell you that many claimants are initially denied. The problem is that the SSA does not review applications on first submission. Instead, an agent with a contracting agency will provide what is often a cursory review of the claim. It is generally only on the second appeal that the SSA finally handles the claim directly when the claimant is called before an administrative law judge for a hearing.
Work with a Long Beach SSI Lawyer If You Have Questions
If your application for either program has been denied or you have questions, contact a Long Beach SSI attorney who has the knowledge and background to provide you with quality representation. Call the Social Security Law Center today at 1-866-772-5299.