slip and fall injury back in 2007. have not worked scence. work comp case closed.have not worked a day scence. won my case. have had no income at all. can i get ssi or ssdi . do i need to get a lawyer?
Social Security Disability (SSD) is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. Disability benefits are payable to: blind or disabled workers, their children, widow(er)s, and adults disabled since childhood The worker will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)is financed through general revenues from taxes, meaning benefits are not based on your prior work history. In most states, beneficiaries will automatically be eligible for Medicaid. SSI benefits are payable to: individuals age 65 or older, adults who are disabled or blind, children who are disabled or blind. Eligibility requirements: have limited income and resources, meet the living arrangement requirements, be a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of certain categories of aliens. The monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the state.
Whether you are disabled or not is determined under the same analysis for either program. Social Security reviews cases using the five-step sequential evaluation process to decide is a person is disabled. Here are the 5 questions that make up the sequential evaluation process:
(1) Does your impairment keep you from being able to perform a substantial gainful activity (SGA), generally full-time, competitive, work?
(2) Is your impairment severe? AND, is your impairment expected to remain severe for at least 12 months?
(3) Does your impairment “meet or equal” one of Social Security’s “Listing of Impairments?” A listing of medical conditions, acceptable medical evidence, and the severity necessary for an impairment to be considered disabling. There are separate listings for adults and for children.
(4) Does your impairment prevent you from being able to perform any job you performed over the last 15 years which was also a substantial gainful activity?
(5) Does your impairment prevent you from being able to perform any other type of work which exists in substantial numbers of the national economy?
In my opinion you should get an attorney as early in the process as possible as there is no fee unless you are awarded benefits (contingency) and the fees are set by Social Security law and would be the same regardless if you hire the attorney the week before your hearing or the day you applied originally.
Search here on Avvo, contact your local or state bar association, or check with NOSSCR or NADR to find a Social Security attorney in your area. Look for one offering a free no-obligation initial consultation (most do) then meet with one or more and sign up with somebody with whom you are comfortable working. NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service - For help in finding attorney representation, contact its lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours: 800-431-2804 or see: http://www.nosscr.org/referral.html . NADR - Find a Representative - telephone the automated system at 1-800-747-6131 or see: http://www.nadr.org/find-a-representative/ .
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.
It certainly sounds like you may be eligible. An attorney is essential and is paid only if you are approved. Please email me if you have further questions. I can help in any state via Skype or telephone/Internet.
Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.
I agree with Mr. Wayson's usual excellent answer, but wish to point out that depending upon how your workers' compensation case was "closed", your receipt of workers' compensation benefits may negatively affect your drawing Social Security disability benefits. If you received a lump-sum settlement from the workers' compensation insurance carrier for future workers' compensation disability benefits and there was no specific workers' compensation rate referenced in the settlement documents and/or award or whatever the terminology is in your state, the Social Security Administration would treat you as if you are still receiving workers' compensation disability benefits at your previous rate until your lump-sum settlement/award is used up. For instance, if you entered into a lump-sum settlement where you received $150,000 for future compensation disability payments and you had been receiving $300 per week in workers compensation checks prior to your settlement, the Social Security Administration would treat you as if you are still receiving $300 per week in workers' compensation disability benefits for the next 500 weeks after your settlement ($150,000 divided by $300/week equals 500 weeks). Other rules, not to your advantage, apply if you did not reference a particular rate in your settlement documents and you did not receive any workers' compensation disability benefits prior to your settlement. You should consult a Social Security disability attorney but you should have all of your workers' compensation documents with you when you do so.
Disclaimer: the above does not constitute legal advice and is only an opinion of the author as to current law. You should consult an attorney with questions about your particular situation.
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