National Directory of Social Security Disability Attorneys

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If you are looking for help with the complex and often frustrating process of applying for and obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, you have found the website to answer your basic questions and locate a qualified Social Security Disability Attorney in your area.

What is Social Security?

Social Security is a government program that provides regular benefits to eligible workers and their families upon retirement of that worker, or if he/she becomes severely disabled or dies. Social security taxes from employees, employers and self-employed workers help fund the program.

If you have paid into the program long enough – roughly 10 years or so - you will be eligible for full benefits sometime between the ages of 65 and 67 (depending on when you were born). The amount you receive is determined by your past earnings. You may also qualify for reduced benefits at age 62. But such benefits, if taken at that age, will remain at that lower level permanently.

Alternatively, you can put off collecting any benefits until age 70, and you will receive delayed retirement credit and end up with a larger monthly check (as much as 8 percent more for each year beyond your retirement age).

What is Supplemental Social Security or SSI?

SSI is a cash assistance program for US citizens and some non-citizens who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled.  Only those with limited resources can qualify for monthly checks in an amount based on individual’s circumstances. Even if you believe you will not qualify for more than a very small amount of SSI funding, it may be worth it to apply for such assistance. As a recipient, you are automatically eligible for free health benefits under Medi-Cal. And you may receive other benefits, such as In-Home Supportive Services, as well.

"Blindness" in Social Security disability programs is "statutory blindness," which means you have a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in your better eye with best correction; or you have a limitation in the field of vision of your better eye, so that the widest diameter of your visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

If you have a visual impairment that is not "blindness" as defined above you may still be eligible for SSI benefits on the basis of disability.

How is Disability Defined For Both Adults and Children?

An individual age 18 and older is "disabled" if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which results in the inability to do any substantial gainful activity; and can be expected to result in death; or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

The definition of children's disability, in terms of SSI eligibility, is if he or she a medically determinable physical or mental impairment with marked or severe functional limitations which can be expected to result in death, or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

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