Q&A's about Disability
Reliable Help from a Reno Social Security Disability Attorney
How are Social Security disability benefit payments calculated?
Benefit payments are calculated based on the amount of money an individual
has earned over the course of his or her work life. Just as retirement
benefits are calculated on how much someone paid into the system over
the years, the SSA computes how long a claimant has worked and to what
degree each has contributed to Social Security taxes. In calculating your
benefit, the SSA will take into consideration inflation and cost of living
adjustments over the years that you have worked. They will normally go
back 35 years, but you certainly will not have had to work for 35 years
to receive Social Security disability benefits.
Who decides whether or not I am disabled?
All filings are reviewed by Disability Examiners. These examiners work
for state agencies collectively referred to across the country as Disability
Determination Services (DDS). These examiners must determine the medical
eligibility of disability claimants. DDS examiners are not federal employees,
but are government workers. They typically deny the majority of claims
at the Initial and Reconsideration stages. By contacting DDS, you can
speak to the Disability Examiner assigned to your case. It is advised
that you do not contact DDS directly, but instead have your lawyer or
representative contact them on your behalf.
What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?
Social Security disability (SSDI) is awarded to disabled people who have generally worked five of
the past ten years and have paid a Social Security tax on their income.
The work requirement can be waived for applicants under age 22.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are made on the basis of financial need to adults and children
who are disabled, blind or have limited income and resources. SSDI is
funded from the Social Security tax, while SSI is financed by general
Can I qualify for SSI if I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits?
You may qualify to receive additional funds through SSI, but payments depend
on the amount of your Social Security retirement benefits. Your potential
SSI benefit also depends on the state in which you reside. SSI may allow
you to obtain food stamps,
Medicaid, and other forms of state and local aid.