Social Security Disability
When someone becomes disabled, there are two government programs that may provide assistance, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI). SSDI is available to a qualified individual, who has paid into Social Security for the required period of time, who becomes disabled. SSI is a needs based program for which an individual may qualify based on both financial need and a determination of disability.
For both programs there is a lengthy application process, much of which can be initiated on line. If denied on the initial application, one can request reconsideration, and, if denied on reconsideration, one can request an administrative review. Frequently individuals are able to represent themselves until they get to the administrative review, when most individuals seek legal representation.
Legal fees are strictly regulated by the Social Security Administration, generally set at a percentage of the retroactive award (when benefits are approved, they are paid retroactive to the date of initial filing).
Mary Ellen can answer your questions and assist you in the application process.