Social Security Claims
The Social Security Administration offers several benefit programs with specific guidelines for qualification and application. The two most common benefits available are:
- Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Many factors affect whether you are eligible for these benefits, including your physical and mental state, your ability to work and hold a job, whether your condition will last beyond one year or result in death, and whether you have worked long enough to qualify for each program. Let’s learn more about these benefit programs.
Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)
Also known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), these benefits can be awarded to any disabled person. Income levels do not apply. Disabled persons must have an adequate work history throughout which they contributed enough money via Social Security taxes; these taxes fund SSDI benefits. Your work income is converted into “work credits,” and these are different each year.
In 2023, you will need to earn $1,640 to earn one credit. Earning $6,560 makes you four credits in total – the maximum available annually. The number of credits and working years you need to qualify for DIB vary. You should speak with an Oklahoma Social Security Lawyer from the Armstrong Law Firm, PLC, to see if you are eligible.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI is a needs-based program funded by income tax revenue that only provides benefits to low-income people who are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65. For the SSI program, the Social Security Administration starts with the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which is $914 for an eligible person and $1,371 for an eligible married couple in 2023. Then, the SSA will subtract your monthly income from the FBR. The amount left over is how much you will receive every month.
Oklahoma supplements the Federal SSI benefit with additional payments, so you may be eligible to receive even more benefits. Federal SSI and OK supplemental benefits are based on your income, living arrangements, and other factors.
Has Your DIB or SSI Application Been Denied?
If you have already applied for federal or state benefits, but your claim was denied, you have a short window of opportunity to appeal that decision and preserve your disability rights. If you miss the appeal deadline, you will have to reapply and could lose the right to certain benefits.
The denial letter you receive from the Social Security Administration explains your right to appeal the denial at several levels. An appeal may enable you to get SSDI benefits if you provide medical evidence that your condition makes you unable to engage in substantial gainful employment, and your condition is expected to last for at least one year or end in death.
The Armstrong Law Firm can work with you to pursue an appeal on each level. These include:
- Request a Reconsideration: In this first step, someone uninvolved with your initial application will review the evidence you provide to reconsider your case. This request must occur within 60 days of receiving a denial letter.
- Request a Hearing: If the SSA still denies your benefits, you have another 60 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) who did not participate in the initial review or the reconsideration of your application. You may also present any new medical evidence at this hearing.
- Request an Appeals Council Review: If the ALJ rules that you do not qualify for SSDI benefits, you can make yet another request for review within 60 days before the Appeals Council. This body may choose to review or not review your case based on previous rulings. They can approve your benefits or return your case for another review by the ALJ.
- File Suit in Federal Court: If the Appeals Council denies your request for review, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court to challenge your denial of SSDI benefits. The Court will determine whether the SSA followed the law and regulations in denying your SSDI benefits.
This same process can be followed to appeal a denial of SSI benefits. Talk to an Oklahoma Social Security Attorney to learn more about beginning the appeals process.
Do You Need a Social Security Lawyer?
An experienced Social Security Lawyer can sort through the complicated rules and requirements to explain your options and guide you through the application process or help you appeal a denial of benefits. You deserve a knowledgeable attorney by your side at the Social Security Hearing, where you have the opportunity to tell your story to the person who decides your Social Security claim.
The Armstrong Law Firm will assist you throughout your Social Security claim, from the initial application to appearing with you at the face-to-face Social Security Hearing to receiving the final decision and explaining your options each step of the way. We only get paid if you receive benefits. You will have no out-of-pocket expenses or legal fees if you do not receive benefits.
Let Us Assist You Through Life’s Difficult Situations
A Social Security Lawyer at Armstrong Law Firm will provide practical advice to help you make tough decisions with confidence and understanding. Client satisfaction is always our top priority.
Don’t Miss Your Chance To Make a Claim
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Oklahoma Social Security Lawyer to understand your disability benefit rights. You have absolutely nothing to lose.
We take all cases on a contingency fee — in the rare event you do not receive the benefits you deserve, you pay no attorneys fees. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below.