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People who are severely injured or chronically ill face harsh economic difficulties. In some situations, they have been working their whole lives and suddenly find themselves unable to do so. In other situations, they have suffered from their conditions since birth.

The federal government’s Social Security Administration offers a pair of programs designed to provide income to those of us who are unable to work due to a medical condition. Unfortunately, these programs can be difficult to navigate and most people who apply are denied.

A Columbus social security lawyers can represent you in your fight to obtain the benefits that you deserve. A dedicated attorney can stand by your side every step of the way through this lengthy process.

Social Security Disability Programs

Social Security Disability Benefits are grouped into two programs. The Social Security Insurance Program (SSI) is a program that any person can apply for. It has no prior work requirements but does have a very limited asset requirement.

In short, a single person must possess no more than $2000 worth of assets while a married person is afforded $3,000. This excludes some important things such as a person’s home. There are additional requirements that can be found here.

Social Security Disability Insurance Program

By contrast, the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI) is designed to provide payments to people who have a substantial work history. There is no familial income restriction on this program and people may retain all of their assets. SSDI differs from SSI in that there is a requirement that the person worked in the past, but compensates for this in that there is no asset calculation.

As a trade-off, people need to have a substantial recent work history, as these payments are provided by the Social Security deductions taken out of all peoples’ paychecks. In general, applicants who have a work history may apply for both programs. Even if they are approved for both programs, the SSDI program has a time limit that will eventually expire. Once this occurs, the SSI income will still be there to provide support. More information about SSDI can be found here.

Similarities Between SSI and SSDI

Where these programs are identical is in their requirement that the applicant be disabled. This is a medical determination that considers the effect of a person’s health on their ability to work.

Under social security laws, a person is considered disabled if they are unable to work any job for at least 30 hours a week. This requirement means any job.

Even if a person used to be an executive in a large company making in excess of $100,000 per year, if their conditions render them only able to work a minimum wage job, they are not technically disabled. A Columbus social security lawyer can help further explain the differences between the social security insurance program and the social security disability program, to individuals that have any questions.

Definition of Disabled

One key question that needs to be considered in the question of whether a person is disabled is if the condition can be expected to result in death. This is the definition of disabled provided by law. Alternatively, the condition may be so severe as to prevent a person from working and has lasted for 12 consecutive months.

There are many conditions, such as aggressive cancer, that are considered disabling by the letter of the law, but many other disabling conditions occupy a gray area that requires interpretation. For example, many psychological conditions affect some people more severely than others. Despite the fact that these conditions are not on the list of automatic disability, their effect on people may be severe enough to prevent work.

It is for this reason that our number one tip for clients is to obtain consistent medical care. It is not enough to simply have a diagnosis. Social security needs to see that despite constant medical care, the condition has not improved. This can only be done by seeing doctors on a regular basis, taking prescribed medications, and attending therapy sessions.

Speak With a Columbus Social Security Lawyer

The application process for social security disability Programs is lengthy and complicated. This is where a Columbus social security lawyer can help. They can gather all of the necessary medical evidence and submit it in an organized and timely fashion.

Attorneys assist clients with all of the necessary paperwork and even provide representation at hearings. Whether people have been denied in the past or are considering applying for the first time; give a lawyer a call. They can work to provide economic stability at a difficult time.