Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are disabled and unable to work, you may be suffering financially from a lack of income and resources. However, applying for Social Security disability benefits can be difficult. Knowing the differences between the benefits that the Social Security Administration offers could be the first step in determining whether you can qualify for these benefits.
Attorney Brian Steed Tatum has years of experience in helping disabled individuals go through the complex process of obtaining disability benefits in North Carolina and South Carolina. We can take some of the worry out of this difficult process by representing your interests and helping you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
Social Security Disability Insurance vs. Supplemental Security Income
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both controlled by the Social Security Administration and the federal government. Under the Social Security Disability Act, a disability is the inability to do any substantial and gainful work because of a medical condition (physical or mental) that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Your medical condition must be so severe that you cannot do the work you did before, you cannot take on other work, and your disability must be expected to last at least one year or result in death.
SSDI benefits are available to individuals who have worked and paid taxes into the system for many years before becoming disabled. In order to be eligible to receive SSDI benefits, you must be disabled. If you are eligible for SSDI, your family members may also be eligible for benefits based on your work record.
SSI, on the other hand, is a program that determines eligibility on a financial needs basis. SSI looks at your income and assets. While many people who have not worked for the requisite period of time to be eligible for SSDI benefits may turn to SSI benefits, their limited income and asset requirements for SSI benefits can be difficult to meet. SSI provides cash assistance to the aged, blind, and disabled who have limited income and resources. An individual must have less than $2,000 in assets, as well as have a limited income, in order to qualify for SSI benefits.
One notable difference in SSI compared to SSDI is that many states (including North Carolina and South Carolina) pay certain individuals receiving SSI benefits an additional amount called a state supplement. The requirements to receive a state supplement vary from state to state.
In some instances, a disabled person may be able to receive both SSDI and SSI. Individuals who receive very low SSDI benefits may be able to receive SSI in order to supplement their income. If the SSDI payment is below the minimum benefit amount for SSI, an individual may be able to receive the difference in the form of an SSI benefit.
Consult an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney
If you believe that you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits and have not applied because you have questions, or if you have been denied benefits in the past and still suffer from a disability, a Social Security disability attorney can help. Since the qualifications and requirements for each program are different, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process.
The Tatum Law Firm is dedicated to its clients’ cases. Serving North Carolina and South Carolina residents, our legal team has extensive experience handling Social Security disability claims. We understand how difficult this process can be and that it can add to the existing physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Attorney Brian Steed Tatum has helped many clients go through the process of applying for and obtaining Social Security disability benefits, and his time and expertise could be utilized for your case as well. If you or a loved one is disabled and unable to work, please contact our offices at (704) 307-4350 or reach out to us online for a free case evaluation.