Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI)
Since 1956, SSD has been an effective social insurance program. A person
must have worked and paid into Social Security via payroll taxes to be
eligible for benefits. In order to qualify for Social Security disability
benefits, you must be found “disabled” under Social Security’s
To be found disabled:
- You must have a severe impairment.
- You must be unable to do substantial work because of your medical condition.
- Your medical condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least
one year, or be expected to result in death.
Both mental and physical impairments are considered by Social Security
when evaluating disability claims. However, Congress prohibits Social
Security from paying disability on the basis of alcoholism or drug addiction
alone. Those who become disabled apart from alcoholism or drug addiction
can be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, so long as their
alcoholism or addiction is not a
contributing factor material to the determination of disability.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI was signed into law by President Nixon in 1972 and works to protect
low income seniors and people with severe disabilities. SSI provides people
with disabilities who have limited income and resources the ability to
keep a roof over their heads, and help with food and life-sustaining medications.
SSI assistance is for people who are blind, disabled, or age 65+ who also
meet very strict income and asset limitations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. If I am approved for SSD/SSI benefits, how much will I get?
A. For SSD benefits, the amount you will receive depends on how much money
you have earned in the past. For SSI benefits, a recipient’s monthly
benefits amount is calculated by counting income, and the 2017 federal
maximum for monthly benefits is $735. The
average SSI monthly benefit amount is around $542 per month.
Q. How far back will the government pay benefits?
A. For SSD, benefits cannot be paid until the claimant has been disabled
for five months, and they cannot be paid more than one year prior to the
date in which the claim was filed. For SSI, benefits cannot be paid prior
to the start of the month following the claim’s application filing date.
Q. If I receive SS benefits, can they be stopped?
A. Yes, Social Security can review individual cases to determine eligibility.
This is known as a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). In the next few
years Social Security will be completing far more reviews.
Q. If Social Security tries to cut off my benefits what can I do?
A. If SS tries to end your benefits after a CDR, you have 60 days to appeal
the decision by submitting a Request for Reconsideration. You can ask
that your disability benefits continue while you appeal the decision,
but is important to note that you must submit your Request for Reconsideration within
10 days of receiving denial if you want your benefits to continue during the appeal.
The process to obtain Social Security benefits can be a long and frustrating
one with many regulations and technicalities. A seasoned attorney can
assist you throughout the course of your claim to ensure that all runs
smoothly. Contact our Harrisburg Social Security Disability legal team
for a free consult today.