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Social Security Disablity

social security disability

There are two different types of Social Security disability benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI).

The main difference between DIB and SSI is that DIB is available to individuals who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits by working and paying taxes. SSI is available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who have not earned enough work credits to qualify for DIB.

what is ssi?

Supplemental Security Income is a program that is need-based, according to income and assets. It has nothing to do with work history, but strictly with financial need. To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple) and very limited income.

Disabled individuals who are eligible for SSI are also eligible for Medicaid in the state in which they reside. Most people who qualify for SSI also qualify for food stamps. Once you are approved, SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month you submitted your application. If you are only eligible for SSI benefits, you need to apply directly with the Social Security Administration for this program. This application is not available on the internet unless you meet certain requirements.

what is dib?

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits are funded through payroll taxes. DIB recipients are considered “insured” because they have worked for a certain number of years and have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA Social Security taxes. DIB applicants must be younger than sixty-five and have earned a certain number of work credits. After receiving DIB for two years, a disabled person will become eligible for Medicare. Under DIB, a disabled individual’s spouse and dependent children are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits, called auxiliary benefits. There is a five month waiting period for benefits, meaning that Social Security will not pay benefits for the first five months after they determine you became disabled. The amount of the monthly benefit depends on your earnings record, much like the Social Security retirement benefit.

how it works

Once you file a DIB and/or SSI initial application, Social Security will take about six months before a decision is made. If you receive a denial letter you will only have sixty days to file a request for reconsideration. Once the request for reconsideration is filed, it typically takes another six months before a decision is made. If you are denied reconsideration you will only have sixty days to request a hearing. It can take over a year and a half before a hearing is scheduled.


Social Security Representatives are compensated based on a percentage of the past due benefits. The Social Security Administration will withhold 25% up to $6,000.00, whichever is less, from your back benefits. Social Security pays your representative directly from your back benefits. If there are no back benefits to pay or your case is lost than there is no fee.

what we do

If you decide you need a representative, we offer free consultations about your case. Please fill out our Free Consultation Form and we will contact you to speak with you further. You are also welcome to call our office at (520)881-8300 and set up a free consultation either over the phone or in person. Our address is 2573 North 1st Avenue in Tucson and 1001 North Central Avenue, Suite 701 in Phoenix. Please feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to discuss your case.

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