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Social Security Disability

Serving West Palm Beach & Port Saint Lucie

Social Security Disability Lawyers in West Palm Beach

The transition from being a full-time breadwinner to a person unable to work because of a disability is never an easy one. It requires making many changes to your daily routine as you learn new self-care skills. If your disability resulted from an accident that caused injury or a severe illness, you may also struggle with the mental and emotional repercussions of surviving a traumatic experience. It is not uncommon for people to question their life goals and worry about the future – and for their family members to question and worry as well.

The good news is that social security benefits are designed to provide a safety net for individuals who cannot work due to a disability. Social security disability (SSD) benefits provide a measure of protection for workers whose disabilities prevent them from continuing to earn a living. According to the Social Security Administration, 3 in 10 U.S. workers will become too disabled to work before they reach retirement age. For many of these workers, social security disability income benefits become a vital safety net.

Unfortunately, claiming the SSD benefits you deserve is not always as easy as it should be. In fact, the majority of valid claims are denied at first. Working with a qualified Florida SSD lawyer at Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Ryles can improve your chances of getting the benefits you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.

SSDI vs SSI: What’s the Difference?

The Social Security Administration manages two programs that may provide benefits to disabled workers. They differ in purpose and scope, and not all workers qualify for both.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI pays benefits to you and to certain family members if you or they qualify as “disabled” and you are “insured,” meaning you worked long enough and paid enough in Social Security taxes to be covered.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI pays benefits based on financial need to those who are over age 65, deaf, blind or disabled and unable to work. Although it is run by Social Security, the funds come from the U.S. Treasury, not the Social Security fund. Your work history is not a factor in qualifying for SSI.

An experienced Florida Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine whether you may qualify for SSDI, SSI or both, and file the necessary paperwork to seek benefits. If you have already applied and received an initial denial, our lawyers can help you appeal.

Who Qualifies as Disabled?

In order to be covered by SSDI or SSI, a person must qualify as “disabled” in the way that Social Security defines the term. In order to qualify as “disabled,” a person must:


  • Be unable to do the work they could do before they became disabled;
  • Be unable to adjust to other work due to their medical condition(s); and
  • Have a medical condition that is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.


In addition to meeting the definition of “disabled,” you must also have worked and paid into Social Security for long enough to be covered by Social Security disability. Because there is a time limit on how recently you worked, it is important to talk to a disability benefits lawyer as soon as you can in order to start the filing process. If you wait too long, you may no longer be considered “insured.” If this happens, you will not be able to qualify for benefits on your own work record, even if you meet the definition of “disabled.”

What Benefits are Available from SSD?
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
Why Your Claim May Be Denied and What to Do About It
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