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Guiding Clients Through The Complex SSDI Process

At Paulsen & Reissner, PLLC, our licensed attorneys in Arizona are proud to help clients recover the benefits they deserve. Whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, we can help you. We assist clients with every step of the process, including:

  • Determining eligibility
  • Completing the application
  • Fulfilling deadlines
  • Appealing a denial
  • Attending a hearing

We provide free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by contacting our law firm today.

SSDI vs. SSI: What To Know

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is also called Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Title II benefits, are benefits based on what you have paid into the Social Security system. When you work, you pay taxes, which gives you quarters of coverage. If you have paid in for enough quarters of coverage, you can be paid Social Security Disability Insurance if you meet the other disability requirements. Even if you meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, you cannot get SSDI if you do not have enough quarters of coverage.

The amount of SSDI payable to you depends on how much you have earned and paid in taxes. The Social Security Administration has a complicated formula for calculating your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is the amount that you can be paid as your monthly SSDI benefit. If you obtain SSDI, your spouse and children may also be entitled to receive benefits based upon your earnings record. These benefits are known as auxiliary or dependents’ benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), also called Title XVI benefits, are benefits based on income and resources. If you have not paid enough into the system to qualify to receive SSDI, you may qualify to receive SSI. SSI is intended to provide monthly income to US citizens and legal permanent residents with limited income and resources. You do not need to have a history of working to receive SSI. To qualify, you must meet the disability requirements and be under the income and resource limits for the program.

How Does The SSA Determine Disability?

The disability test is the same for both SSDI and SSI. It is possible to receive both SSDI and SSI if your monthly SSDI amount is very small. When you receive both SSDI and SSI, you are said to be receiving concurrent benefits. Unlike SSDI, SSI does not result in any past due benefits prior to the date of application. If you are found to be disabled as of the date of application, SSI is payable as of the first full month after the date of application. Also, unlike SSDI, SSI does not result in any benefits to spouses and children. Benefits are only payable to the claimant.

How Widows And Widowers Can Recover Benefits

Disabled Widow(er)s Insurance Benefits (DWIB) are payable to a widow or widower and are paid on the earnings record of the deceased spouse. The disability test for DWIB is the same as it is for SSDI and SSI. There are additional requirements that must be met for DWIB. You must be between 50 and 60 years old. Also, your disability must start either before or within seven years of the deceased spouse’s date of death, with limited exceptions. This is known as the prescribed period. DWIB are not based on your earnings record. The benefits are payable based on the deceased spouse’s earnings record. There are special rules that allow a surviving divorced spouse to get benefits based upon the record of a deceased former spouse.

We Can Help Get Benefits For Disabled Adult Children

Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits are payable to an adult child and are paid on the earnings record of a parent. The disability test for DAC benefits is the same as it is for SSDI and SSI. There are additional requirements that must be met to be eligible for DAC benefits. Disability must be established before age 22. You are eligible for DAC benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits.

Schedule A Free Initial Consultation To Learn About Benefits

Paulsen & Reissner, PLLC, provides free initial consultations. You can ask our team members your questions about how to obtain benefits, and we will do our best to help you. To reach our firm, call 800-248-5120 or send an email.