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Social Security FAQs
Social security is a complicated area of the law, and many people who qualify for benefits are unsure if they qualify and do not know how to go about obtaining benefits. The lawyers at Pisegna & Zimmerman help people everyday obtain the social security benefits to which they are entitled, even if they have initially been denied benefits by the Social Security Administration. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from clients in our social security law practice. If you have other questions or need assistance in obtaining your benefits, contact Pisegna & Zimmerman for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties in Southern California.

What is the difference between SSD and SSI?

SSD or SSDI stands for Social Security Disability or Social Security Disability Insurance. As the name implies, it is an insurance-based system. The “premiums” are the amount of you pay into the system when you work; a certain amount is withheld from every paycheck and sent to the social security system. If you become disabled from working, you may be entitled to SSD payments based upon the amount you have contributed to the system over the years.

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. SSI is funded by general tax revenues, so eligibility is not based on whether you have worked or paid into the system. SSI is available to people who are unable to work due to a disability and are in need of financial assistance, and who otherwise meet the criteria for SSI.

What does social security provide for disabled children?

Children with disabilities which severely limit their ability to function may be eligible for SSI if they meet the statutory definition of disability, and the financial resources of the children and their household do not exceed the SSI eligibility threshold. In addition, adult children with a disability may be eligible for SSD based on the earnings record of one or both parents. In either case, there are strict definitions and eligibility requirements that must be met in order to qualify, and legal assistance is recommended to help you obtain these vital benefits.

What does social security provide for widows?

Survivors’ Benefits are available under Social Security. The amount received as survivors’ benefits depends upon the earnings record of the deceased spouse. In addition, a widow or widower who becomes disabled may also qualify for SSD, if certain conditions are met. In general, SSD is available for surviving spouses who are 50 years old or older and become disabled within seven years of the spouse’s death. Other conditions must be met as well. You are welcome to contact our office for a free consultation to help determine your eligibility for benefits.

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