Social Security Disability FAQ

1. What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

People are often confused by the difference between SSDI (Social Security Disability) and SSI (Social Security Income).

SSDI benefits are designed to support disabled individuals who have paid Social Security taxes throughout the years and are therefore ‘insured’ by Federal Social Security.

SSI is a program that is predicated upon income and assets and is funded by general fund taxes. It’s means-tested and based strictly on financial need. This program is also available to those over 65 without disabilities who meet certain financial criteria.

SSDI and SSI are two entirely different government programs, but both are overseen and managed by the Social Security Administration.

2. Do I Need a Lawyer To Help Me Claim My Benefits?

It is not required but it is recommended if you are disabled and not able to work. You have the right to be represented by a McDivitt Law Firm Social Security Disability Lawyer. Deadlines for Social Security Disability claims and rejection appeals are tight. We will make sure your case is properly and promptly filed. We will help you with the initial application. We will also help you locate your medical, work and military records, represent you during your hearing and, if appropriate and necessary, appeal a judge’s decision.

Note: Statistics prove that claimants with legal representation succeed far more than those who choose not to have such representation.

3. Why Were My SSDI Benefits Denied?

Your denial notice from the Social Security Administration will describe your medical condition, impairments and what medical and non-medical records that were considered and the reasons for your denial. Here are some common reasons why benefits are denied:

  • You have little or no medical or mental health treatment.
  • Social Security didn’t obtain your records.
  • You are, or have been, convicted of a crime, or committed fraud.
  • You have failed to follow prescribed therapy.
  • Your disability is based upon drug addiction.
  • You cannot be located.

However, the denial of benefits may state that your physical or mental condition, in conjunction with your age, education level and work history, does not merit an award of benefits.

4. Why Was My SSI Benefit Claim Denied?

(a) For many of the same reasons for the denial of those who apply for SSDI benefits. However, a very significant reason for the denial of SSI benefits could be that your income and assets may be greater than is allowed to pass the means test – which applies in SSI claims but does not apply in SSDI claims.

5. How Can I Pay My Lawyer if I Don’t Have Any Money?

The Social Security lawyers at McDivitt Law Firm will not charge anything at all for the initial consultation and if we are able to help you with your claim we will be paid 25% (one quarter) of any back pay to which you may be entitled. However, you will never have to pay anything to us out of future payments to which you are entitled.

6. If I’m Denied, What’s the Next Step?

At least 2 out of 3 initial applications for SSDI claims are initially denied. However, the large majority of these denied claims will be reversed with legal representation. Please note that you have just 60 days to appeal from the date of the denial, so you should immediately call the experienced Social Security Disability attorneys at McDivitt Law Firm to represent you. That toll free number is (877) 846-4878 and we are available day or night.