Social Security disability The Social Security Administration (SSA) operates two programs intended to provide financial support for those who cannot work due to disabling injuries and illnesses. People who work and pay into the system for years prior to becoming disabled are often eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Those who cannot work due to disabilities and have extremely limited income and other assets may apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

A high percentage of claims for SSDI and SSI benefits are initially denied, but many valid claims can be won through reconsideration, hearings and appeals. In other cases, individuals and families suffer unnecessary hardship because they do not know when and how to file for these benefits. Click here para Español!

Dedicated, trial-proven attorney Mark S. Horrigan will answer your questions personally and step in to help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Helping the injured and disabled is the core focus of our practice at the Law Offices of Mark S. Horrigan near Lynn and Boston, Massachusetts.

Turn to us for a free no-risk consultation

Attorney Horrigan will evaluate your case objectively and help you set realistic expectations after determining eligibility. A veteran of more than 100 trials, he is always prepared to go the distance if needed. You will pay no attorney fees unless we pursue your case and succeed in obtaining benefits.

To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at 781-691-5769, at 866-257-6476 (toll free), or send an email now.

We offer:

  • Comprehensive legal counsel and representation after a serious work injury, including determined pursuit of your workers’ compensation benefits
  • Knowledgeable assessment of your eligibility for SSI or SSDI benefits, based on in-depth understanding of medical criteria, factors in determining ability to work, age as a component in the decision and more
  • Helpful guidance in the initial application phase or prompt action if you have received an initial claim denial that you believe is unjust

Case considerations: SSDI and SSI

Basic Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) Claims Processing Considerations

SSDI and SSI general eligibility considerations

  • Citizen or Qualifying Legal Immigration Status – Lawful Permanent Resident & Some Other Limited Exceptions
  • Adult -18 or over +must be totally disabled for all substantially gainful forms of employment
  • Child –under 18–must be “blind” or have functional limitations that are marked or severe as defined by regulations

SSDI specific eligibility considerations

Must be “currently insured” at time of Disability onset:
Determination of “current insurance” – must have certain number of quarters of coverage in proximity to date disability began – generally20 out of last 40 calendar quarters must have tax withholdings.

Caveat – exception for younger worker in terms of acquiring insured status

SSI specific eligibility considerations

Must have very limited financial resources – generally cannot have $ 2000 or more in assets at any point in time

5 step inquiry by Social Security Administration

  • Burden of proof in on claimant during steps one thru four below; at step 5 burden shifts to SSA to establish claimant can do work which exists in the economy
  • Step 1: Is the claimant currently performing substantial gainful activity (i.e. earning income over a specified amount) ? If so, claim is denied
  • Are the claimant’s alleged impairments severe enough to significantly limit his or her physical or mental ability to do basic work activities? If not, the claim is denied. Otherwise, proceed to step 3
  • Does the claimant have an impairment which meets one of the specified listings found in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Appendix 2? If so, the claim will be allowed and benefits will be awarded
    (The listings generally require severe or marked impairments supported by very substantial medical evidence)
  • Considering all of the claimant’s impairment and their effect on his or her ability to perform work-related activities, can the claimant do his or her past relevant work? If so, the claim is denied. Otherwise, proceed to step 5
  • Step 5 – Considering all of the claimant’s impairments and their effect on his or her ability to perform work-related activities, and also considering the claimant’s age, past education and work experience, can the claimant be expected to perform any other work in the national economy?
    Judge will consider vocational factors – jobs available in the economy and claimant’s ability to perform those jobs
    If yes, the claim is denied. If no, benefits will be awarded

Favorable factors in regulations that can work in claimant's favor

  • Older or Advanced age – 50 or over 54
  • Lack of education
  • Lack of English Literacy
  • Objective medical evidence proving substantial impairment
  • Lack of transferable skills
  • Skills compatible with jobs in economy
  • Physical restrictions are not compatible with jobs available in economy

Procedural time limits

Request for Reconsideration Must Generally be filed with SSA within 60 days of receipt of initial denial of claim

Request for Hearing By an Administrative Law Judge Must Generally be filed with SSA within 60 days of receipt of denial of reconsideration from SSA

Attorney's fees

Generally – 25% of any retroactive award of benefits or $ 6000 whichever is less