If you live in the Cary area and you are disabled and unable to work as the result of an injury or an ongoing illness, you may feel as if your world has been turned upside down. It's normal to feel that way. Being disabled can be extremely stressful in and of itself – and that's not to mention the stress that comes with a mounting stack of bills and ongoing worry about how you’ll continue to provide for yourself and your family.
If any of that sounds familiar, and you’ve arrived at this website hoping for some helpful information about how to reduce some of that stress and pursue benefits that you may be entitled to, we’re glad you’re here. You may have arrived at this page wondering if you might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as a result of your disability. At The Clauson Law Firm, our talented team of Cary disability lawyers is here to help you get started answering those questions – and to offer you the help that you need.
Often, those who contact our office want to know right away how to get started with the process of completing their application for benefits. That’s understandable. After all, despite disability, life keeps moving forward, bills keep piling up, and families still have needs that must be met. It’s understandable to want to get started seeking the benefits that you need and deserve. The question is – what type of benefits might those be, exactly?
It's an important question to ask. While the Social Security Administration is the entity responsible for approving applications and paying SSDI or SSI benefits, the standards they use for determining which type of benefit an individual should receive are quite different. Let’s take a closer look at both types of benefits:
SSDI benefits are benefits generally available to those who have "paid into" the Social Security system through their taxable income. This essentially means that for at least a certain period of time required by the government, they worked a job from which they paid tax used to fund Social Security benefits. Generally, those who are approved to receive SSDI benefits will receive an award of benefits determined based on their prior salary and what they paid into the system.
SSDI benefits require a qualifying mental or physical disability. Generally, whether a disability qualifies is a determination made by the Social Security Administration. To make that determination, the Social Security Administration will often rely upon a "Blue Book" which contains lists and descriptions of qualifying disabilities, as well as upon review of medical records and the opinions of treating physicians. Any disability that qualifies will also have to last for at least 12 months. Even after an application is approved, SSDI benefits are not paid out until a five-month waiting period has passed.
In contrast to SSDI benefits, SSI benefits are funded by general tax dollars. As a result, they are not dependent upon employment history or an amount paid into the system by the disabled employee. Instead, they are based on an individual's financial needs. Generally, to qualify for SSI an individual must fall within a certain income and asset threshold set forth by the government. To determine whether you might qualify based upon your income and resources, consultation with an attorney is always advised. As is the case with SSDI a recipient of SSI recipients must have a qualifying disability.
After understanding the distinction between the two types of benefits, you'll be more prepared to start the application process itself and seek the benefits that best fit your circumstances.
All legal matters can be complex. The process of applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration is no different. Here's a look at the basics of the process – although of course, everyone has different circumstances, so consultation with an attorney as to your particular case is always advised.
As noted, although these are the basic steps involved in the application process, everyone has his or her own unique situation. As a result, consulting with an attorney who knows and understands the law and can give you personal advice and representation is always essential. At The Clauson Law Firm, your team of Cary disability lawyers is here to help.
If you live in the Cary area and you are struggling with a disability, you should know that help is available. At The Clauson Law Firm, our talented, knowledgeable, and experienced team of disability lawyers has helped countless clients through the process of applying for benefits and moving on toward a better and brighter chapter ahead. We would be honored to help you too. You deserve to focus on rest, recovery and spending time with those you love. Leave the legal matters to us. We’ll fight for you as you seek the benefits you need and deserve, and we’ll keep you informed and involved every step of the way. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.