Social Security Disability Insurance

Boston Social Security Disability Income Law Firm

A disabling condition can have a major impact on your ability to work and make a living. Boston social security disability attorney Michael O. Smith can help if you have a long-term disability and are unable to work. Mr. Smith has more than 15 years of experience representing individuals in social security disability claims. He offers aggressive advocacy and individualized legal service to help the disabled obtain benefits for their condition. Please contact our office today to discuss your social security claim.

What is Social Security Disability Income?

Social security disability income (SSDI) is a program administered by the Social Security Administration (Administration) for totally disabled individuals who are unable to work. To qualify, you must meet certain disability and earnings requirements. You must also have paid social security taxes to the Administration.

The Administration also manages the supplemental security income program. You may meet the eligibility criteria for both SSDI and SSI benefits. If you do not meet the SSDI requirements, you may still be eligible for SSI benefits.

Definition of Disabled

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must meet the government’s strict definition of disability. Benefits are only paid for totally disabling conditions; there are no benefits for partial or short-term disabilities. The Administration will review your medical exams, reports, and any other evidence to see if you meet the definition of disabled. Generally, your disability must last at least 12 months and be so severe that you cannot perform basic work tasks, and there are no other jobs you can perform given your limitations.

Earnings Requirement for SSDI

You must also meet the requirements of two earnings tests to be eligible for SSDI: the recent work test and the duration of work test. Under the recent work test, you must have worked for at least five out of the ten years before you became disabled, if you are 31 and over. There are different requirements for workers under age 31.

To qualify under the duration of work test, you must have worked, and paid into social security, long enough to collect benefits. The duration will depend on your age when you became disabled.

SSDI Benefits

If you qualify for benefits, your monthly SSDI benefit will be based on your average lifetime earnings. There is a five-month waiting period to receive SSDI benefits, so your first check will be for the sixth month of your disability. You will receive a monthly check for as long as you are disabled. The Administration will review your case periodically to ensure you are still eligible for benefits.

Dependents of SSDI Recipients

If you are eligible for SSDI, certain dependents may also be eligible for benefits, such as your spouse if caring for a minor child or your minor children. Each qualifying family member can receive up to fifty percent of your disability benefit; however, the maximum benefit a family can receive is between 150 to 180 percent of your SSDI benefit. For example, if you are a single parent with three minor children, your family could theoretically receive 250 percent of your award (100 percent of your award, plus 50 percent for each of the three children). However, the Administration will adjust the amount your children receive to bring the total amount for the family down to between 150 to 180 percent.

Workers’ Compensation and SSDI

To qualify for SSDI, your disability need not be work-related. However, if you were injured at work, you may qualify, or already be receiving, workers’ compensation. You should discuss your case with a qualified attorney who can advise you on how your workers’ compensation benefits could impact your ability to get SSDI benefits.

Skilled Representation in Your Social Security Matter

Boston social security disability lawyer Michael O. Smith can offer you the legal guidance you need in your SSDI claim. Mr. Smith has significant experience representing disabled clients. He can speak with you about the benefits you may be entitled to receive, and help you at every stage of the claims process, including appeals. Mr. Smith can provide the representation you need to get results. Call our office in Boston today at 617-263-0060, or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you.