Social Security Disability (SSD and SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are a lifeline for so many individuals and families in Durham because even those who are working full-time are finding it difficult to keep up with rising costs. Everything from food prices, gas prices, tuition, medical care, and energy costs seem to be going through the roof. That’s why The Clauson Law Firm wants you to know that if you need a Durham disability lawyer, we’re only a phone call or an email away.
The Clauson Law Firm has been specializing in representing Durham’s disabled residents for decades. Our entire team of SSD and SSI lawyers, along with our staff of paralegals and Social Security Disability advocates concentrate our professional lives to getting our clients the absolute maximum disability benefits possible in the circumstances of their case. We can help you get the SSD and SSI benefit payments you deserve too.
If you live in the Durham area and you recently became disabled, we want to tell you what you need to know to qualify for either Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit payments or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments.
Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit payments are available to people whose work history is long enough to have accumulated a minimum number of “work credits” because the SSD benefits are paid from a fund into which the worker’s payroll taxes or self-employment taxes were deposited. Since they contributed to the SSD fund, they are eligible to collect SSD benefits when they become disabled. SSD payment amounts are calculated based on a formula using the worker’s average lifetime annual income as the starting point, exactly the same formula used to determine the amount of benefits the person will receive when they reach full retirement age.
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled people whose working history was not substantial enough to meet the minimum SSD work credit criteria. SSI also differs from the SSD program in the way benefit amounts are calculated. SSI pays a standard amount for every recipient minus an amount deducted from the monthly payment depending on how much countable income the person receives from other sources in any given month.
The same criteria is used by both the SSD and the SSI program to determine whether an applicant qualifies as “disabled” under the definition adopted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). To qualify to receive benefit payments from either program, applicant must have “medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months (or result in death) and prevents the person from performing ‘substantial gainful activities.’”
The SSA defines “substantial gainful activities” (SGA) as the ability to perform employment in which you can earn $1,350 per month, which is the amount set by the SSA for 2022. The SGA amount changes slightly each year to adjust for economic factors like inflation and the cost of living.
The best action you can take to maximize your chances of winning your disability benefits claim is to work with an experienced disability lawyer in Durham. At Clauson Law, we have helped thousands of disability applicants win the benefit awards they were entitled to, benefits that helped them to support themselves and their families through challenging economic and emotional times.
The Clauson Law Firm’s expertise ensures that no incomplete application is ever submitted. By submitting the most complete and thoroughly supported applications possible for each of our clients, we prevent the disabled person from suffering needless months-long delays prolonging their anxiety and heightening their financial pressure.
Standing with Every Applicant Through the Entire Process — Despite the most professional and complete SSD application package, even the best qualified applicants receive and initial denial from their state Disability Determination Service office. At Clauson Law, we don’t take no for an answer in any case without pressing for an immediate reconsideration, and then an appeal for a full hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) if necessary. Still, if needed, another appeal is possible to the Appeals Council. Finally, in rare cases, a denial can be appealed all the way to the federal court.
Very few cases ever need to be appealed beyond the ALJ hearing because it is at this point when you and your Clauson Law attorney speak personally with the judge, reviewing every piece of key evidence, and usually convincing them of our client’s genuine qualifications and entitlement to receive their SSD benefits.
You pay nothing, no up-front fees or costs for the Clauson Law Firm to prepare your SSD or SSI application and nothing for all of our representation throughout the disability claim process. We pay for any expenses related to document prep, analysis, etc. Only in the end, after we’ve helped you received approval of your disability benefits is our fee approved by the Social Security Administration to be deducted from your award of retroactive benefits. The fees is capped by the SSA to prevent any unfairness, and we disclose and discuss everything with you at the very beginning of our working together.