Rochester and Varick Social Security Disability Lawyer

You are probably familiar with Social Security. If you are at a traditional job, the employer withholds Social Security from your paycheck. It is a government-run retirement savings program that pays benefits based on lifetime earnings once a person reaches retirement age. 

Yet the Social Security Administration (SSA) does more than just focus on retirement payments. It has two programs that provide a safety net for people unable to work — Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Each program has its own requirements, but they both require that an applicant is disabled and unable to earn a living. 

While SSI and SSDI are federal programs, your state’s disability determination office handles the application. The rules are strict, although sometimes you might be unfairly denied for one reason or another. At Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, our nationwide SSDI attorneys represent applicants all over the country, including right here in New York State. A Rochester and Varick Social Security Disability lawyer can help you file your application and appeal a denial, if necessary.

The Difference Between SSI and SSDI

There are two different programs to help people with disabilities: SSDI and SSI. They have the exact same medical requirements but different requirements in other areas. Some applicants will qualify for just one of the programs, while others will be eligible for both programs. 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for anyone who meets income and resource requirements, and is unable to work because of a disability. The program is for individuals who are below the poverty line. 

A person must have built up enough “work credits” to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and have a qualifying disability that prevents them from working further. This program does not have income or resource requirements – it is largely determined by the level of disability.

An applicant does not need to choose to apply for one program over the other. When someone submits a disability application, it is examined for both SSI and SSDI. The federal government will screen eligibility and send the application to their state’s Disability Determination office. 

People can get both benefits, but SSDI counts as income, so the more SSDI a person receives, the less likely it is that he or she will qualify for SSI benefits. A disability attorney can advise applicants in the Rochester and Varick regions on how to be eligible for SSDI or SSI programs.

Qualifying for Disability Benefits

The SSA has a list of qualifying conditions, known as Compassionate Allowances and the Listing of Impairments. If someone is approved based on having a Compassionate Allowance diagnosis or meeting/equaling a listing, the SSA will not evaluate if he or she can do their past work, or other work. 

Theoretically, any severe health condition could qualify a person for disability. However, the more serious the illness, the more likely the SSA is to determine the person cannot work. Some common conditions that may qualify people for disability include: 

  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Addiction
  • Mental Health Disorders
  • Autism
  • Seizures
  • HIV
  • Autoimmune Disorders

If an applicant is unsure whether their condition should qualify, a disability lawyer representing Rochester and Varick can provide guidance. 

Appeals and Denials

On paper, applying for SSDI and SSI in Rochester seems simple. A person submits the application and the supporting documents, and then waits for the response. 

In reality, the process can be highly frustrating. The SSA routinely denies people who should qualify for benefits, whether through reviewer error or because there was not enough context provided. They have an appeals process and will eventually approve many applicants they initially refuse. The appeals process must be done carefully, so having the help of an SSDI lawyer can make the whole process easier for applicants in Rochester and Varick. 

Meet With an Attorney About Your Social Security Disability Claim in Rochester or Varick

Adjusting to life with a disability is complicated enough on its own. There is no reason you should struggle to get help from programs designed to help you. Our SSDI lawyers represent applicants in Rochester and Varick, NY, and can help you gather the evidence for your claim or guide you through a denial and appeal. Schedule a free consultation to get started – your location is no concern, we can represent you from anywhere!

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To Schedule an Appointment, Call Us Toll Free at 1.877.873.8208 or Email Us for a Prompt Response.

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law