The Social Security Process
If you are disabled and expect that your disability will last for at least twelve (12) months, you should immediately apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your entitlement to SSD is based upon your tax contribution to the Social Security System. Based on your payments into the system, the Social Security Office will inform you as to the date you were last insured. To receive SSD, you will have to establish that you became disabled on or prior to the date you were last insured for benefits.
SSI provides benefits to disabled individuals who financially qualify. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers this program. Some individuals are eligible to collect both SSD and SSI benefits. SSI pays monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources, who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children, as well as adults, can get SSI benefits. Unlike Social Security benefits, SSI benefits are not based on your prior work or a family member's prior work. SSI beneficiaries also can get Medicaid (medical assistance) to pay for hospital stays, doctor bills, prescription drugs, and other health costs. To get SSI, you must be a resident of the United States, and not be absent from the country for more than 30 days; and be either a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of eligible non-citizens.
The first step in the process requires you to contact the Social Security Administration to apply for benefits. You may apply online or you may file in person. If you intend to file in person, call SSA's toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to make an appointment; or visit your local Social Security Office.
If you are initially denied benefits, you have a right to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Generally, you have 60 days after you receive the notice of SSA's unfavorable decision to ask for a hearing.
If you are denied benefits and wish to have a hearing before an ALJ call our office immediately for a FREE CONSULTATION with a lawyer from our firm. Remember, our law firm will not charge you a fee in a Social Security Case unless you win your case. If you have questions about Social Security Benefits you may contact us at 570-342-4242 or 570-836-3600 and schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with a lawyer from our firm.
You can also contact us via email using the form on the right.