Your Social Security Attorney – Frequently Asked Questions


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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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


Supplemental Security Income is for low or no income citizens or for a “qualified alien” who is 65 years of age or older, blind or disabled.  It provides money for basic needs.  One must have less that $2,000 in resources ($3,000 if married) to qualify for SSI.  Benefits are paid the month after the application is filed.


Social Security Disability, on the other hand, is available to those who are ‘insured’.  This means that you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.  You also must be a citizen or qualified alien.  If you are not a citizen you must meet one of the exceptions.



I heard that it may take over 18 months and maybe longer to get a determination. Can this wait time be reduced?


Yes, if your case involves a:


-terminal illness

-military service casualty

-suicidal or homicidal claimant

-compassionate allowance

-dire need



How long do I have to be disabled for?


Your disability must last a year or be expected to last a year or result in death within one year.



How far back will Social Security pay me if I am approved?


Social Security will only pay you past-due benefits one year prior to the day you filed your application.  This is even if they find you disabled much earlier than that.  However, previous applications and denials may affect this. In Supplemental Security Income Cases (SSI) cases you will only get paid from the date of your application.



How much will I get if I win?


This depends on many things, most importantly, how much you put into Social Security through paying your taxes over the years. You can request this information from the Social Security Administration.



If I get a lawyer how much will it cost?


Generally, attorneys who handle Social Security Disability Income (SSD or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases will charge 25% of past-due benefits. At present, $6,000 is the most that can be charged.  They will only get paid if you win your case.



Should I apply for SSI, SSDI or both?


It depends on your individual case.  Those with limited resources should apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Anyone who has worked for a significant amount of time should see about applying for Social Security disability (SSD or SSDI).  Many people may qualify under both programs.



If I have more than one illness or injury, will Social Security consider them separately or in combination with a finding of disability?


Social Security will evaluate your claim on all of your conditions combined and how they together affect your ability to work.  In fact, Social Security must evaluate your conditions even the ones that are not as severe.



Can my child get benefits?


A child up to 18 years old may receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) child benefits if they are found disabled by Social Security and the parents income and resources are low enough.  Social Security defines disability in children.  Under title XVI, a child under age 18 will be considered disabled if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that causes marked and severe functional limitations, and that can be expected to cause death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.



There is a three step process Social Security uses to determine if a child is disabled for child’s SSI.


– Is the child working at substantial gainful activity (SGA) level.  If the child is working the claim for child’s SSI will be denied.  If the child is not working, we move to step 2.


– Does the child claimant have a severe impairment.  If not, the child will be denied.  If the child has a severe impairment we move to step 3.


– Does the child impairment meet, medically equal or functionally equal one of the listed impairments.


If a child clearly meets a listing, the child will usually win fairly quickly if all supporting medical records are in.  For a child to functionally equal a listed impairment, the child must have marked limitations in two domains or an extreme limitation in one.  The six domains are:


Acquiring and Using Information

Attending and Completing Tasks

Interacting and Relating with Others

Moving About and Manipulating Objects

Caring for Yourself

Health and Physical Well Being



Kraft Law Offices can help get you the social security benefits you deserve.

Contact Kraft Law offices for a case evaluation.

NO fee unless you win, contact us today.