Social Security Disability
If you are disabled, you may qualify for social security disability income or supplemental security income benefits. Boston social security attorney Michael O. Smith can provide the guidance you need to obtain the appropriate benefits in your social security case. Mr. Smith has represented numerous disabled clients in social security claims throughout his 15 years of legal practice. He can explain the application process and represent you in an appeal if your claim was denied. Mr. Smith is committed to providing each client with personalized attention. He will advocate aggressively on your behalf to seek the financial support you need. Contact our office today to see how we can help you.Social Security Administration Disability Benefits Programs
The federal government provides a financial safety net for those who are disabled and unable to work. The Social Security Administration pays disability benefits under two programs:
Both programs provide monthly financial support to individuals with a disability that is expected to last at least 12 continuous months or if the condition is terminal. The monthly benefits differ under each program, and there are certain eligibility criteria to qualify for benefits.Obtaining Federal Disability Benefits
In order to obtain SSDI or SSI benefits, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. Both programs require that you meet the federal definition of what the government considers disabled. A person is disabled if he or she has a medical condition that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. The Disability Determination Service will decide if you qualify for initial and continued SSDI or SSI benefits based on your disability.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have paid into the social security system for a certain period of time and earned enough work credits. Your monthly benefit will depend on your average earnings prior to your disability.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be disabled, age 65 or older, or blind. There are no work credit or work duration requirements. You must, however, meet certain income and resources requirements in order to obtain SSI. How much you receive per month will also depend on your income and resources. In some cases, a person may be able to receive both SSDI and SSI benefits concurrently.
Certain family members may also qualify for benefits. For example, your spouse can qualify if he or she is caring for your child and the child is under 16 years of age or disabled.Additional Benefits for Massachusetts Residents
In addition to federal benefits, you may be entitled to state benefits for your disability. Massachusetts provides its residents with supplemental income through the Massachusetts SSI State Supplement Program (SSP). Eligibility for SSP benefits is based on your eligibility for SSI payments, though in some cases, a person may qualify for SSP benefits even if he or she does not qualify for SSI.Appealing a Denial of Social Security Benefits
Many applications for SSDI and SSI benefits are denied at the initial stage, but you can potentially succeed in an appeal. If your application is denied, you can file a Request for Reconsideration. Your application will be reevaluated, and you may provide additional evidence to support your claim for benefits. If your application is denied at this level, you can file a Request for a Hearing to bring your claim before an administrative law judge.Social Security Benefits and Workers’ Compensation
If you are injured at work and receive workers’ compensation, your workers’ compensation benefits could impact your ability to receive SSDI or SSI benefits. You do not need to have a work-related injury to obtain SSDI or SSI benefits – the injury can be from any accident or illness. However, if your disability is work-related, your social security benefits could be reduced to offset your workers’ compensation benefits. A qualified attorney can review your case and discuss how these benefits could impact each other.Advocating for Your Right to Benefits
Boston social security lawyer Michael O. Smith understands the financial and emotional toll a disability can take on you and your family. He can evaluate your case and discuss the benefits you may be able to receive under the law. If your claim has been denied, Mr. Smith can thoroughly prepare your case to protect your rights at every step along the appeals process. Call us at 617-263-0060 to arrange a free initial consultation, or contact us online today. We serve clients via our office in Boston, and throughout the surrounding areas.