At our firm, we practice exclusively in the area of Social Security law. While our primary focus is Social Security disability benefits, we also handles cases dealing with overpayments, retirement benefits, and family-related benefits of all kind. We take pride in being able to assist hard-working people and their families in obtaining benefits they are entitled to from Social Security.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are for steady workers who have paid Social Security taxes in the years before they stopped working due to a disability. Disability for Social Security purposes is defined as the "inability to engage in any substantial, gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months. The impairment must be severe and prevent the worker from engaging in their past work in the last 15 years or any other full-time work which exists in the national economy. The determination of whether someone is unable to perform their past work or other full-time work includes a consideration of their functional capacity, age, education, and work experience. 20 C.F.R. Section 404.1505(a).
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a federal welfare program for the disabled, blind and those over 65. The definition of disability for adults is the same definition as is used for Social Security disability. Applicants for SSI must also meet strict income and asset limits and be a United States citizen, with some exceptions. Disability for children (individuals under age 18) also falls under the SSI program. A 3 step evaluation is done to determine whether a child is disabled. First, if a child is engaged in substantial gainful activity (i.e., working), he or she is not disabled. Second, the child's impairments must be severe. Finally, the child's impairments must either meet, medically equal, or functionally equal in severity a listed impairment contained in the Listing of Impairments. 20 C.F.R. Section 416.924(a)-(d).