SSI and SSDI


Some of the most frequently asked questions about SSI and SSDI are:

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To qualify for Social Security disability, you must have a physical or mental impairment, or a combination of impairments, that prevents you from doing your past work or any other work available anywhere in the country.  The disabling condition must have lasted 12 months, or be expected to last 12 months or be expected to end in death.  In deciding whether you are disabled, Social Security will look at the severity of your condition, your age, education, skills, and your past work.

 If you are disabled, you may be eligible for either or both of two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance, sometimes called “SSDI” or “Title II,” or Supplemental Security Income, usually called “SSI.”  These two disability programs have the same definition of disability but have many different requirements for qualifying.  Set out below are the main requirements: 

Appeal—request reconsideration within 60 days.  You must do so in writing and must use the correct Social Security forms.  You may file your request for reconsideration at your local Social Security office. You may also file your appeal online at www.socialsecurity. gov. It is a good idea to ask for a date-stamped copy of your request so you will have proof that you filed it.

Appeal—request a hearing within 60 days. File your request for hearing at your local Social Security office and ask for a date-stamped copy so you have proof of having filed it.  You may also file your appeal online at www.socialsecurity. gov.

You may get the appeal forms from your local Social Security office, from the Social Security website—www.socialsecurity.gov—or they may be requested by telephone: 1-800-772-1213.

At the hearing, you will be able to meet with an administrative law judge who will be familiar with the facts of your case.  You will be allowed to testify about your limitations and may ask someone else to testify on your behalf.  You may present the most current medical records about your condition and will be able to answer questions asked by the judge or your advocate.  The hearing is your best opportunity to win your case, so it is important that you cooperate fully with the advocate representing you.  The hearings office has a videotape you may watch that will explain the hearing process to you.

If your application is denied at a hearing, you do have the right to request review by the Appeals Council.  If that review is denied, you may file a complaint in federal court.  Again, keep in mind you only have 60 days to do this.  Your advocate can help you decide whether an appeal is advisable.

Many answers can be found by visiting the Social Security website at:www.socialsecurity.gov.  You can find answers to your questions, find the address of your local Social Security office, and obtain forms.  If you cannot access the website, you may also call the toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213.  Hearing impaired persons may call the Social Security TTY number: 1-800-325-0778.  You may also contact Utah Legal Services for representation.

Utah Legal Services is able to help eligible clients in many cases.  If you want ULS to look at your case, please fill out our online application anytime or call our intake number: 1-800-662-4245 (outside Salt Lake) or 328-8891 (within the Salt Lake area) between 9 and 2, Monday through Friday. 

The information in this site is not intended as legal advice.
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