Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability?
The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits based on disability: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is based on prior work under Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Payments under SSI are made on the basis of financial need.
How do I qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. Disability benefits are payable to blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.
How can I receive supplemental income for my disability?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program financed through general revenues. SSI disability benefits are payable to adults or children who are disabled or blind, have limited income and resources, meet the living arrangement requirements, and are otherwise eligible. The monthly payment varies up to the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented by the State or decreased by countable income and resources.
Can I receive both disability benefits, both SSI and SSDI?
You may be able to receive SSI in addition to monthly Social Security benefits, if your Social Security benefit is low. The amount of your SSI benefit depends on where you live. The basic SSI check is the same nationwide. Effective January 2006, the SSI payment for an eligible individual is $603 per month and $904 per month for an eligible couple. For January 2005, the SSI payment for an eligible individual is $579 per month and $869 per month for an eligible couple. However, many states add money to the basic check. If you live in Ohio and feel you are not getting your full disability benefits, call us to receive more information.
If my disabilities worsen can I receive an increase in disability benefits?
No. Your Social Security disability benefit is based on the amount of your lifetime earnings before your disability began and not the degree or severity of your disability.
How do I apply for disability benefits?
You can complete some or all of the forms online. If you have been denied disability benefits, contact us so we can determine your legal rights. With more than 80 years of combined experience, our firm has the knowledge to help navigate you through the Social Security disability system.
Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions
If I am injured at work, where can I file my injury claim?
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation handles the administrative functions of the Ohio Workers' Compensation system. The Bureau has limited decision making powers, mainly related to the initial allowance of a claim. The Bureau handles the processing of claims and the payment of money. The majority of the decision-making functions in the workers' compensation system are handled by the Industrial Commission. The Industrial Commission is responsible for decision-making when there is a contested issue in a claim. Our office is located two blocks from the Industrial Commission office. If you need help filing your claim, or feel you have not been properly compensated for your injury, contact us for help.
What can I do if I am not satisfied with the Industrial Commission’s decision?
There are three levels of decision-making in the Industrial Commission: District Hearing Officers (DHO), Staff Hearing Officers (SHO), and a three member board called the Industrial Commission. If a party is not happy with a decision, an appeal can be filed. Appeals from the DHO are heard by the SHO. An SHO decision may be appealed to the three-member Industrial Commission, but very few appeals are heard by the Industrial Commission itself.
How long will my appeal take?
Generally the District Hearing Officer will render a decision within 45 days from the date the appeal is received by the IC. If a second appeal is filed, the Staff Hearing Officer has 45 days from the date of that appeal to issue a decision. Likewise, if a claim is appealed to the Commission level, the Commissioners have 45 days from the date that appeal is filed to render a decision.
Do I need an attorney if I am injured at work?
Any time you are injured, you have the right to be represented by an attorney, especially if you were injured at work. Our workers’ compensation lawyers will assist you in properly protecting your claim. Each state has different Workers' Compensation Laws. While individuals can sometimes represent themselves in these matters, securing experienced legal counsel is the best way to protect your legal rights. Attorney's fees for representing an injured employee are usually paid out of the settlement or award. These are usually a percentage of the monetary recovery awarded to the injured employee. They may range from 5% to 33 1/3% of the award, depending on the complexity of the case and the award sought. Our firm will receive no payment unless we are able to secure your benefits.