Social Security is a federal program that people who receive income in the United States pay into with payroll taxes. Social Security is part of the "safety net" in the United States, and is intended to assist those who are no longer able to work with a regular source of income. The elderly consist of the largest portion of Social Security recipients, but people who have become disabled may also be eligible for benefits.
There are two types of benefits administered by the Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is available if a person has worked in a job that pays into Social Security before and is disabled so that he or she cannot work in this same line of work and cannot adjust to another line of work, and the disability is expected to last more than a year. SSI benefits are available to those who are disabled, have little to no income and need benefits to pay for basics like food, clothing a shelter.
People seeking Social Security benefits for a disability may do so by filing a claim. The claim is reviewed, including for whether the applicant meets the definition of disabled under the law. If appoved, the applicant may receive benefits, which are based on the applicant's average lifetime earnings.
Social Security Disability lawyers often help people whose claim has been denied. They can assist people in appealing a denial and help the applicant receive Social Security benefits.
The National Board of Legal Speciality Certification has been accredited by the American Bar Association to certify attorneys as specialists in Social Security Disability law. To become certified, the lawyer must show he or she has been involved in at least 100 Social Security hearings and filed at least 20 appeals council briefs, in addition to meeting education requirements.