The guidelines and rules outlined by the Social Security Administration determine who may be entitled to benefits in the event of a life-changing disability. If you are interested in filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplement Security Income (SSI), your situation must satisfy numerous qualifying factors to obtain a payout of benefits.
A qualified lawyer at Shook & Stone could help you better understand the differences between SSDI and SSI in Las Vegas. If you qualify for one or both forms of benefits, an experienced social security disability attorney at our firm could help you with all aspects of filing a claim—from submitting the initial paperwork to representing you at the administrative hearing to launching an appeal, if necessary.
Overview of SSDI vs. SSI Benefits and Qualification Factors
There are several core differences between SSDI and SSI benefits, and it may be wise to speak with a Las Vegas attorney who could advise what program may best apply to your current situation. Both programs are designed to assist individuals who have become disabled and cannot work due to their disability. However, one of the primary differences between these two programs is that SSDI is intended for individuals who have an established work history and have paid into the Social Security system. In contrast, individuals who apply for SSI do not have to demonstrate a prior work history to achieve benefits. Instead, the applicant’s financial need is the core factor upon which approval for SSI benefits hinges.
In the case of SSDI benefits, there are several core qualifying factors that the Social Security Administration (SSA) outlines. First and foremost, the applicant needs to have previously sustained employment that was covered by Social Security, which means that they contributed to the system through their taxes and earned work credits. Next, the applicant must have a condition that the SSA considers a disability.
The SSA considers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including physical and psychological disorders, to be covered disabilities. However, the other requirement to obtain SSDI benefits is that this disability must not only hinder the applicant from carrying out gainful employment, performing previous work, or any other kind of work—but it must be of a nature that the applicant expects to be disabled for at least a year, or their condition is terminal.
In the case of SSI, you may be surprised to learn that both adults and children can qualify for these benefits. Individuals with minimal income or financial resources may be eligible for SSI, provided they are 65 or older or have a disability that will prevent them from working for at least a year or is terminal. In the case of children seeking SSI, the threshold is that their disability must be a significant disruptor to daily life, is anticipated to continue for a year or longer, and their family’s financial situation satisfies certain SSA requirements.
Applying for SSDI or SSI Benefits
Simply having a diagnosed disability that prevents you from working is not in and of itself sufficient to obtain benefits. Whether you are looking to file an SSDI or SSI claim in Las Vegas, you will need to ensure that all the documentation is filled out properly and provides detailed support for your claim. There is also a five-month waiting period after applying for SSDI benefits if your claim is approved.
Moreover, it is common for applicants to be denied for various reasons. If even one supporting detail on the paperwork is missing, this can derail your claim. A diligent lawyer could ensure that all the required information concerning your work history and disability is included in full on the first round, as well as any other supporting evidence that the SSA will want to see. Our dedicated legal professionals could also guide you through the appeals process if your claim is denied and explore every possible avenue to help you collect all available benefits.
Contact a Las Vegas Attorney About Applying for SSDI or SSI Benefits
While there are stark differences between SSDI and SSI in Las Vegas—from some of the qualification factors involved to the actual numerical amount of the benefits paid—demonstrating the severity of your medical condition will be key to the outcome of your case. Even a seemingly simple mistake with the paperwork could result in the denial of your claim.
It is in your best interest to have seasoned legal representation on your side from the start. To talk with an attorney who regularly handles SSDI and SSI claims and find out what may be possible for your situation, reach out to Shook & Stone and schedule your free, personalized case consultation.