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Social Security FAQs

How does Social Security define the term “disability?”

To be eligible for disability benefits, an individual must be unable to do any time of gainful work due to a physical or mental impairment. A combination of impairments will also satisfy this definition.

The impairment(s) must be expected to last at least 12 months or to end in death.

What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is financed through general tax revenues. SSI disability benefits are paid to people who have a disability and who don’t own a substantial amount of property or have a substantial income.

Social Security disability insurance is a program that workers, employers, and the self-employed support with Social Security taxes. Benefit qualification is based on your work history, and the amount of your benefit is based on your earnings.

What are the steps I will encounter before I win approval to receive Social Security Disability Insurance?

Basically, you begin by applying for benefits. You application will either get approved or denied. If approved, your application might go through the process of a quality control review and still could potentially be denied. If approved, you should start receiving benefits eventually.

If your application is denied, your next step is to apply for a reconsideration with the state agency that handles disability claims on behalf of the Social Security Administration.

The agency could possibly approve your application, but it could also deny your application again.

If you are still denied, you would then apply for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ could approve your application, which is still subject to the possibility of the quality control review.

The ALJ could also deny your application. If the ALJ denies your application, you can then appeal to the Social Security Administration Appeals Council.

If you lose this appeal you can then appeal to the United States District Court.

Can Child support be taken from my SSDI payment?

Yes. However, if you have dependent children, they may be entitled to a child’s benefits based on your benefit. When you applied for benefits, you should have included the names, social security numbers, ages, and addresses of all children.

If you did not, you can add this information at a later date.

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