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General Information about Applying for Disability in Connecticut

Helpful Facts for anyone Seeking Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income

Additional Information

Please refer to the links below for additional information on Social Security Benefits. Do not hesitate to call 860-646-1119 for a free disability consultation. Attorney Sauer works with clients throughout Connecticut.

Disability Benefits Programs:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability: the Social Security disability insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to disabled individuals who are "insured" because of their payment of sufficient taxes on their earnings, as well as to certain of their disabled dependents. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are made to individuals (including children under age 18) who are disabled and have minimal or no SSDI coverage and limited income and resources.

How Long the Process Takes

A typical SSDI or SSI case takes over two years from start to finish. See, How can having an Attorney Help. It is important not to get discouraged and to give up. If you are denied, give up and don't appeal, you will have to start over from the beginning if you decide to try again later.

The Levels of Appeal:

At the end of two years most people have gone through three levels of appeal. These levels are the Application, Reconsideration and Hearing levels. See, How do I Get Started. Very few people are successful at the application or reconsideration levels. Of those who keep appealing and go to a hearing, over half are successful.

The hearing is the last step for most people but, if unsuccessful, an appeal to the Appeals Council may be filed and some people even go on to Federal Court. Appeals to the Appeals Council and Federal Court add on additional years and, at those levels, the judges are mainly looking for technical errors.

How Social Security Decides Disability:

To decide if someone is disabled, Social Security uses a Sequential Evaluation. http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-1520.htm

There are 5 steps in the sequential evaluation.

  • Step 1: If you are working and your work is "gainful" Social security will decide you are not disabled, no matter how sick you may be.
  • Step 2: Your impairment must be severe. It must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activity for at least 12 continuous months or be expected to result in death. If it does not do so, you will not be found disabled.
  • Step 3: Social Security will determine whether your impairment meets or equals a "listing." If they find it does, you will be found to be disabled. http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm
  • Step 4: If you are not found to meet or equal a listing, you need to prove that you are so limited by your impairment that you cannot return to your past relevant work because of the limits caused by your impairment. Your past relevant work is all substantial and gainful work that you performed within the last 15 years.
  • Step 5: If you cannot return to your past relevant work, Social Security will determine whether there are any other substantial gainful activities that you are capable of performing.

The information on this site has been prepared for general information and is not legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us using the form attached, or for a quicker response, please call us at (860) 646-1119. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship will not exist until and unless we have reviewed your legal matter directly with you and have agreed to handle the matter with a written and signed agreement. Google+ All Content By:

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