THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BLOG

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Understanding the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income

Social Security Disability Insurance, (“SSD”), and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) are two programs administered by the Social Security Administration that provide monthly benefits to disabled persons. In some cases, an individual may be eligible to receive both SSD and SSI. Before you begin the process of applying for disability, it will help you to understand the non-medical eligibility requirements and functions of each program.

SSD pays monthly benefits to disabled persons who are insured through a Social Security trust fund as the result of contributions made to FICA from their payroll earnings, or the earnings of their spouse or parents. In order to qualify for SSD, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for being totally disabled and have the required credits of work. The credits of work vary depending on age; however 40 credits of work are usually required with 20 of those credits being earned within the last 10 years. Young people need fewer credits of work to qualify. There is no minimum age requirement to be eligible for SSD although it will end at a person’s normal retirement age and be replaced with Social Security retirement benefits. Medicare health coverage is available to individuals who have received SSD for two years.

SSI pays monthly benefits to people with low income and limited financial resources. In order to qualify for SSI, an individual must be disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Children younger than age 18 may qualify for SSI if they meet Social Security’s criteria for a disabled child and the family members who live in the child’s household meet the income and resource requirements. Unlike SSD, it is not necessary to have quarter credits of work to be eligible for SSI. In North Carolina, individuals who receive SSI are also eligible for Medicaid to help with their healthcare costs.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY QUESTIONS

Q. What if my disability is caused by drugs and/or alcohol?

A. Congress has passed legislation that severely limits the receipt of Social Security (SS) benefits if your substance abuse problems contribute to your disability. While the current law is very unfavorable to these types of claims, careful analysis by an experienced lawyer may help you find other grounds that are legitimate reasons to qualify for SS benefits.

Q. Why does it take so long to get my SS disability application approved?

A. Huge numbers of applications, changes in the disability program, a lack of adequate resources have combined to slow down the appeals process. Most applications are rejected twice before getting to a decision maker that will actually interview and listen to the claimant. In 2004, the Commissioner of SS made aggressive moves to speed up the process by electronic filing, closed circuit television hearings, and other changes. Don’t lose hope because of long delays. If you are disabled for twelve (12) months or more, you will eventually be found to be eligible for SS disability benefits.

Q. When can I expect a hearing on my claim?

Due to the large number of appeals in Social Security cases, it is often many months before each level of an appeal is decided. You are generally given several months notice prior to a hearing before an ALJ and you will be expected to attend that hearing unless you have an extraordinary reason why you cannot attend. The exact number of months between appeals varies from time to time and there is little that can be done by you or your lawyer to speed up the process in light of the huge backlog of cases waiting for a hearing. Once a hearing is held, the ALJ should render a favorable or unfavorable decision within ninety (90) days of the hearing.

Q. Should I try to work if I have applied for Social Security?

Yes. While you cannot be eligible for Social Security benefits while you are working full time, the law does permit you to make "work attempts" for periods of time without any penalty to you. However, you should report any work attempts and should be very candid with your lawyer and the ALJ about all the times you worked or tried to work.

Q. How do I qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

A. You are eligible for Social Security disability benefits WHEN you have mental and/or physical problems severe enough to keep you from working for a period of twelve (12) months or more. You must be unable to work at any competitive job in the national economy, not just the one you had before your disability. Your age, education, past work experience, and ability to perform other jobs are among the factors that the Social Security Administration will consider in deciding your disability.

Q. How do lawyers get paid for handling SS disability cases?

A. Most attorneys charge a contingent fee which is the lesser of $5300 or 25% percent of your back benefits. A contingent fee means that if your claim is denied, no attorneys fees are owed. The Administrative Law Judge must review and approve employment agreements before any legal fees can be charged. Most lawyers will advance the expenses of a claim with the understanding that these costs will be recovered when the claim is approved.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY VIDEOS

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found. Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Social Security Detail

Social Security – Detail

Social Security part 4

Social Security Part 4

Social Security part 3

Social Security Part 3

Social Security part 2

Social Security Part 2

Social Security part 1

Social Security Part 1

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Social Security Hearing Timeframe

Resolution of Social Security Disability Cases: A Timeframe Overview

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Claims

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefit

Working While on Social Security

Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Appealing Social Security Denials

Appealing the Denial of Your Social Security Disability Claim

Work History Requirements

Work History Requirements for Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Child Eligibility for Social Security

Child Eligibility for Social Security Benefits and Social Security Insurance

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in Social Security Disability

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in the Social Security Appellate Hearing

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases

~ What Our Clients Say ~

2019 Google Review

August 7, 2019

The entire staff were welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful, and nice people! David was professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about and did what he said he was going to do. I have had a wonderful experience with this firm and will not hesitate to use them in the future.

2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

July 10, 2019

I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

2019 Facebook review

June 5, 2019

I highly recommend Mr. Gantt. He is very kind and always professional. He prepared me for my disability hearing and calmed my nerves. Everything happened exactly as he said it would. I honestly do not think that I would have been approved for disability without his help. Also, his office staff were always ready to…

2019 Google Review

May 28, 2019

Mr. Gantt took good care of me. I will be forever grateful for him getting me the social security payments I need for a disability due to military service. He seems like a genuine compassionate good man. I highly recommend! ~C.M.

2019 Google Review

May 10, 2019

David and his entire staff are so nice and show compassion to everybody. He was there when I had any questions. David Gantt is the best attorney in his field, he goes above and beyond. I am extremely grateful to him and his staff. ~M.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

Very nice and friendly service. They always answered any of my questions. Had a great experience working with them on my disability case. I highly recommend there services! After trying for 6 years and 2 unfavorable decisions, David and his team did a great job representing my case and won. I appreciate there time and…

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

The whole office is very respectful. Answered all my questions. So Glad they were there cause I had no clue after fighting for 2 years. Thank you guys soo much. ~K.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

I am very grateful to David Gantt & his staff! They were wonderful and made the confusing process much easier to understand. I wish I had contacted them sooner. They were super to work with and such nice people! Thank you so much! ~K.S.

Avvo Review 2019

May 7, 2019

Mr. Gantt is a highly compassionate and professional lawyer. He worked hard for me to show my disabilities. Always pleasant and supportive, while being very much on top of his cases. I recommend David Gantt to anyone. Great Attorney! 5 Stars. ~ Dakota

Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

Wonderful client services..very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help clients. highly recommend him for anyone needing assistance for the Disability SSI. ~T.D.

2019 Google Review

April 9, 2019

I am so grateful to Mr. Gantt & his staff. They have been so professional and knowledgeable. They’ve answered all of my questions and made a very stressful situation, bearable. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Gantt. He is knowledgeable, professional & caring. ~J.H.

Avvo Review 2019

April 8, 2019

Linda Calloway Mundy David Gantt is an outstanding Lawyer. I highly recommend him. He was beside me all the way and I would like to thank him. ~Linda 5 Stars

2019 Google Review

March 9, 2019

David Gantt and his staff are very professional, upfront, honest and nice. They made me feel at ease discussing my case. They helped me with every step of the way towards my disability approval. I would recommend them to anyone. They kept me updated on everything. Just wish I had contacted them sooner. ~D.P.S.

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

Martindale Review 2019

January 21, 2019

5.0/5.0 in Social Security. David was very professional, pleasant and focused on me and my situation while I was in his office. He did not allow interruptions. His office staff was helpful and readily available when I had questions.

Martindale Review 2018

October 8, 2018

Recommended 5.0/5.0 in Social Security. I highly recommended David Gantt. He is a kind and generous person. He puts you at ease from the minute that you meat him. Very efficient and does what he says he’ll do. His staff is awesome too. Trust me… You can’t go wrong with David Gantt.