Social Security Disability Benefits


If you are considering applying for Social Security disability benefits, are in the process of applying, or have been denied disability and need to appeal, it’s crucial that you have the right information and legal advice. Each phase of the Social Security disability benefits process has its own unique requirements and procedures. One missed step can derail your whole case and keep you from getting the benefits you need. Having a dedicated and knowledgeable disability benefits attorney on your side can significantly improve your chances of getting this essential resource.

The Dailey Law Firm, P.C. has over 10 years of experience gathering evidence and representing people throughout the Social Security disability benefits process. Our firm knows what to do at every stage and can help you get the disability benefits you need. We proudly serve clients in Michigan, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois.

Here’s more what you need to know about applying for Social Security disability benefits and how an experienced Social Security disability benefits attorney can help with your case:


Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two primary programs that provide benefits based on disability:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), also known as Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), and
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

In order to qualify for SSDI or SSI, an applicant must be blind or have a disability as defined by the SSA.

What is a Disability?

For all individuals applying for SSDI benefits and for adults applying for SSI, the SSA defines “disability” as:

  • The “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA)” because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that can be expected to result in death or which has continuously lasted for or can be expected to last for at least a year.
  • For SSI, a child will be considered disabled if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that severely limits their ability to function and is expected to cause death or has lasted or can be expected to last for at least a year.

SSI and SSDI both require that an applicant have a qualifying disability in order to be eligible for benefits. Although the two programs share this prerequisite, they also have some important differences.

What is the Difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

  • What is Social Security Disability (SSDI)?
  • SSDI, or DIB, is directly connected to a recipient’s employment history.
  • The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain family members if you are disabled or blind and “insured,” meaning that you were employed for enough years during a certain time frame and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings.
  • Generally speaking, an individual is insured after earning wages for five years and contributing to the Social Security trust fund through the Social Security tax on their earnings during the last ten years.

When someone has a disability, SSDI can be a critical resource. The best way to get the information you need about SSDI is by contacting an experienced and knowledgeable Social Security disability benefits attorney. The lawyers of The Dailey Law Firm, P.C. understand the SSDI application and appeals process and can help you get your SSDI benefits. If you live in Michigan, Indiana, or Chicago, Illinois, and need help with disability benefits, contact us today to schedule your appointment.

What is the SSDI Payment Amount?

  • SSDI payment amounts vary according to an applicant’s earning history.
  • On average, an SSDI beneficiary receives about $1236 per month. The majority of SSDI recipients are paid less than $2000 per month.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

  • SSI is a need-based program where benefits are paid to disabled children and adults who have limited income and resources.
  • Unlike SSDI, SSI does not require recipients to be “insured” through Social Security.
  • The SSI program imposes income and countable resource limits on benefit recipients. Countable resources are income and assets of the household, including bank accounts, employment income, investment properties, second vehicles, and other non-exempt assets.
  • As of 2022, an eligible SSI recipient’s countable resources cannot be worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.

What is the SSI Payment Amount?

  • As of January 2022, the maximum SSI payment was $841 per month for individuals and $1,261 per month for couples.

Not all resources are considered countable by the SSI program, and it’s essential to recognize which assets are exempt or non-exempt for purposes of attaining and keeping your SSI benefits. Your Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you review your resources and determine the best ways to manage them so that you can maintain your SSI eligibility. If you live in Michigan, Indiana, or Chicago, Illinois, contact the experienced and dedicated Social Security benefits lawyers of The Dailey Law Firm, P.C. today to get the SSI benefit advice and guidance you need.

What Happens During the Disability Application Process?

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a complex process, and it’s easy to make mistakes. In fact, the majority of disability benefit applications are denied. Getting denied occurs even when the applicant has a qualifying medical condition. Having a Social Security disability benefits attorney can make a significant difference. The lawyers of the Dailey Law Firm, P.C. are knowledgeable about the disability process and will help you with the initial application and subsequent appeals if necessary.

Applying for SSI and SSDI

Your Disability Benefits Application

  • The first step in applying for SSI or SSDI is to gather all of the necessary information for your application. This will include information such as where you live, your employment history, financial data, and medical information.

Your Disability Determination

  • Next, we will help you complete and submit your application forms and information. Then, the SSA Disability Determination Service (DDS) will complete a 5-step evaluation to determine disability. When evidence is unavailable or insufficient to make a determination, the DDS may arrange for you to attend a consultative examination (C.E.) to obtain additional evidence.

Your Disability Benefits Appeal

  • If your application is denied, you will have 60 days to appeal the decision. During this process, or reconsideration phase, you can ask for a medical reconsideration or a non-medical reconsideration of your application. A new examiner from DDS will review your application and information during this stage.

Your Disability Benefits Hearing

  • If your initial application is denied, you may request a hearing before an SSA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An ALJ will hear your case at the SSA’s Office of Hearing Operations (OHO). During the hearing, your case will be presented through evidence and testimony. You can also waive your right to a hearing and ask that your case be decided based only on medical evidence.

Your Appeals Council Appeal

  • Next, you will receive a decision from the OHO ALJ. If the decision is unfavorable or you disagree with some of the judge’s ruling, you can appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will consider your hearing record and any additional evidence that has been admitted to the record.

Your Federal Court Appeals

  • If we are unsuccessful in obtaining a fully or partially favorable outcome from the Appeals Council, the next step is to ask for judicial review of the decision from the Federal Court.

Contact an Experienced Disability Benefits Attorney

Applying for SSDI or SSI can be a complex and frustrating process. The majority of disability applications are denied the first time they are submitted. Often, this is because those applying for SSDI or SSI are unfamiliar with the process and don’t know what information and documentation to provide.

As experienced and dedicated Social Security disability attorneys, we will help you gather the right information and prepare your application. We will follow up on your behalf and check the status of your claim. If your application is denied, we will appeal your case to the next step of review. The ALJ Hearing is the best opportunity to win your case. The attorneys at Dailey Law Firm P.C. not only know the social security law but also have outstanding ability in presenting your case at the hearing.

Working with a knowledgeable and experienced disability benefits attorney greatly increases the chances of you getting the benefits you need. The dedicated disability benefits attorneys at The Dailey Law Firm P.C. understand and can help.

Attorney Brian Dailey has over a decade of experience representing individuals fighting for disability benefits. Dailey Law Firm Attorney D. Glenn Smith, Jr has 21 years of experience in representing social security disability claimants. They know the SSA disability benefits laws and procedures and can help you prepare and present your case.

If you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability, are in the application process, or have a pending appeal, The Dailey Law Firm, P.C. can help. If you live in Michigan, Indiana, or Chicago, Illinois, and need help with Social Security disability benefits, contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your situation.

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