A graduate of St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida, Jason is a disability attorney who has been practicing Social Security Disability law since 2014. He has successfully represented hundreds of disabled individuals throughout Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He currently represents clients throughout the areas of Columbia, SC, Greenville, SC, Charlotte, NC and Greensboro, NC. "I like to prepare each case for hearing with the judge's preferences in mind. I am able to do that because I keep track of each judge I appear before and the vocational expert that testified. That way, I know what kind of the questions to judge likes to ask, what kind of evidence he is looking for, does he want an opening statement or a pre-hearing brief, how will the vocational expert respond, etc." In his spare time, Jason likes to work in his yard and spend time with his family.
SSDI is a federal disability program funded through payroll taxes. To qualify for the program, you must have worked a certain number of years in a job where you paid Social Security (FICA) taxes. (If you don't, then you can apply for Supplemental Security Income benefits.) You must not be working or should at least not be earning more than what Social Security considers substantial gainful activity. You must also have a medical condition(s) that is severe enough to interfere with basic work activities and is expected to last at least one year. Finally, you must not be able to do the work you did before nor be able to adjust to other work because of your medical conditions and limitations.
SSI is a federal program that provides minimum basic financial assistance and Medicaid to older adults and persons with disabilities (regardless of age) who have very limited income and resources. The major difference between SSI and SSDI is that SSI is based on age/disability and SSDI is based on disability and work credits, otherwise the determination process is the same. In addition, an SSI recipient will receive Medicaid automatically while a SSDI recipient will receive Medicare after 24 months of receiving disability payments. It is possible to qualify for both SSI and SSDI benefits.
A Social Security Disability attorney understands the complicated process and will represent you throughout the appeals process. They will make sure that all key medical evidence is obtained and submitted and will prepare you for any questions the judge will ask at the hearing. They might also be able to move your case forward more quickly if you are in dire financial need or your condition is terminal. At the hearing, an attorney will make sure the judge has a proper understanding of how your disability has impacted your ability to work.
You must file your initial application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) either at your local Social Security office or online at http://www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability/. Within a few weeks, you will be notified if your application has been approved or denied. If denied, you will need to file an appeal of your application within 60 days at your local SSA office or online at https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/appeal.html.