Social Security and SSI FAQ's

Applying for Social Security Disability and SSI benefits can be a very confusing process. At McCroskey Law, we have been guiding our clients through disability-related claims for over 60 years.  Many of our clients seek help with Social Security Disability and SSI problems, and we often hear these questions:

1.  What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

From a medical standpoint, both Social Security Disability and SSI apply the same rules.  A claimant must show that they are unable to engage in full-time work activities, due to their serious medical conditions.

However, Social Security Disability is an earned program.  A claimant must have enough work credits to be eligible for Disability benefits.  If a claimant has been unemployed for an extended time, or has a limited earnings history, he may have a "date last insured" issue.  This happens when work credits have expired, and a claimant must prove that he became disabled before this expiration.  If you have a "date last insured" issue, it is very important that you contact a skilled Social Security attorney.  These cases can be quite complicated.

SSI non-medical eligibility is not based on earnings or work credits.  Instead, the claimant must show that his household assets are below the SSI threshold.  If someone in your household earns a high income, you may not be eligible for SSI benefits.

2.  How does a child get Social Security benefits?

Disabled children may be eligible for SSI benefits, if they live in low-income households.  Under certain circumstances, a child may be able to receive dependent benefits, if his parent is deceased or disabled.

When evaluating a child for SSI medical eligibility, Social Security does not apply the same analysis it does with adults.  Instead, a child's level of function is considered in six domains.  These domains include a child's ability to:
  • Acquire and Use Information;
  • Attend to and Complete Tasks;
  • Interact and Relate with Others;
  • Move About and Manipulate Objects;
  • Self-Care; and
  • Physical Health and Wellbeing.

If a child has marked or extreme limitations in some of these functional domains, he may be eligible for SSI benefits. 

Unfortunately, not many Social Security attorneys or representatives take on Child SSI claims.  And, they can be quite complicated.  At McCroskey Law, we believe that representing children in SSI claims is an important part of our practice.  We have experts that understand the nuances of a Child SSI claim.  If your child has been denied SSI benefits, call us today.

3.  What is the difference between a Social Security attorney and a representative?

There are some Social Security firms in the United States that spend a lot of money advertising their services.  However, if you look carefully, many of them refer to their employees as "representatives," not attorneys.

You do not need to be an attorney to practice before the Social Security Administration.  These firms hire and train non-attorneys to represent their clients.  These non-attorney representatives do not have the training and expertise of a Social Security attorney.  Shockingly, these non-attorney representatives will charge you as much as an expert attorney!

At McCroskey Law, our Social Security attorneys have extensive experience in disability law.  We never use non-attorney representatives.  For more information about finding skilled, legal representation, click here.

If you have questions about Social Security benefits, we would be happy to talk to you.  Contact McCroskey Law today.