Social Security Administration

Disability Programs with the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration. Only individuals who have a disability and meet certain medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either or both programs.

SSDI: The Social Security Disability Insurance program pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

SSI: Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.

When you apply for either program, the Social Security Administration will collect medical and other information from you and make a decision as to whether you meet Social Security’s definition of disability.

Use the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool to find out which programs may be able to pay you benefits.

Disability Appeals

If your application for disability benefits has recently been denied, you have the right to appeal the Social Security denial and request a review of Social Security’s decision about your eligibility for disability benefits.

If your application is denied for:

  1. Medical reasons, you can complete and submit the required Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report online. The disability report asks you for updated information about your medical condition and any treatment, tests or doctor visits since Social Security made its last decision.
  2. Non-medical reasons, you should contact your local Social Security Office to request the review. You also may call Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to request an appeal.

The Ortiz Law Firm assists claimants in filing SSDI and SSI disability applications and appeals. Call 850-308-7833 for a free case evaluation.