How Social Security Works?

Social security provides economic protection for millions of Americans. It functions as a pay-as-you-go system, where workers pay Social Security taxes into the program and that money comes back as monthly income to beneficiaries.

To qualify for social security benefits, you first must have worked in jobs covered by the Social Security program. When you apply for social security, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will collect medical documents and information to determine whether you meet the definition of a disability. If your application is approved, the SSA will generally pay you monthly benefits for the time you are unable to work, often for over a year, if your disability prohibits you from working. Disability benefits may continue for longer periods of time, if you are unable to work on a regular basis again.

What is the Difference Between SSD and SSI Benefits?

The Social Security Administration offers two programs that allow disabled Americans to apply for benefits, if they are unable to work. These are two largest federal programs providing financial assistance to those with disabilities:

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI pays benefits based on your financial need for benefits. It is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues—not your social security taxes. It is designed to help people with disabilities who have little to no income, and provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Social Security Disability (SSD): SSD pays benefits to you and your loved ones if you work for long enough and pay social security taxes.

Is Your Child Eligible for Supplemental Security Income Benefits?

A parent, guardian, or family member may seek SSI benefits on behalf of a disabled young person. If this is the case, the SSI applicant may not have “countable resources” that exceed $2,000 if single, and $3,000 if married. Those countable resources include savings, stock, bonds, interest in real property, and personal property, but government benefits such as food stamps is excluded.

If the disabled person is younger than 18 years old, their parent’s assets should also be taken into consideration. You must also submit a Child Disability Report along with the application for SSI.

Can I appeal a Social Security Disability denial?

Yes, if your application for social security disability is denied, you may take the following steps to appeal the social security disability, SSD decision on your application: reconsideration, request an Administrative Law Judge hearing, attending an appeals council review, or filing in district court.


  • Reconsideration: If your social security disability application is denied, it will be reviewed again by a claims examiner who is seeing your case for the first time. Before being reconsidered, you may add and modify your application. This is a time when having a social security disability attorney familiar with the particulars of applying for social security can be very helpful. If your application was denied, a social security attorney can check the application for errors and omissions and give you a better chance at this step in the process to obtain social security disability compensation.


  • Administrative Hearing: If your social security disability application is denied at the reconsideration, you can ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). At your administrative hearing on social security disability, you and experts may testify on behalf of your application. An experienced social security disability attorney will have experience before ALJs in your community and the skills to make the strongest case for your application for social security disability application.
  • Appeals Council Review: If your case fails at the hearing, you can ask the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council to review your social security disability case for a third chance. The Council can decide not to hear your appeal, but if they do, they can conduct a review, decide, or remand the claim back to the ALJ.
  • Social Security Disability District Court: If you are still unsatisfied with the results of your application, the final step available in your social security disability case is to file a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration. This is filed in Federal District Court. Your social security disability attorney will present evidence and testimony to support your claim for social security disability. However, the Social Security Administration, “SSA”, may also present evidence and rebut your claims for social security disability. An experienced social security disability lawyer will be able to fiercely advocate for your rights in your social security disability lawsuit. Getting through the trial process can be cumbersome and complicated, and having a social security disability lawyer will help guide you through this process, ensure all necessary documents are filed and you have a strong trial strategy.



Are You Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Requirements for SSD Benefits

To be eligible for social security disability, SSD, benefits, you must have worked long enough and must have paid social security taxes through your employment. Social Security Disability, SSD, applicants must show payments into the system for 40 quarters, and 20 of those must be in the 10 years prior to becoming disabled.

Additionally, the social security disability applicant must show they cannot do the work needed in their previous jobs, have a disability for over a year or longer, or one that leads to their death, and have a medical condition that prevents them from doing any other kind of work.

Evidence of Disability

In order to prove your disability, you will need to collect medical records establishing your disability, documentation of your qualifying employment, and if your injury or illness occurred during or through your occupation, your worker’s compensation records.

If you are unsure of whether your disability counts, you can reference the SSA’s list of qualifying impairment. While this list is not exhaustive, if your impairment is found in the SSA “listing of impairments,” you have a very high chance of being awarded benefits. Otherwise, you are responsible for proving to the Social Security Administration that you are eligible, which is one of the primary reasons retaining an experience social security disability lawyer is key to fighting your case.

Do I need a Social Security Disability Lawyer to help my disability claim?

In order to get your benefits as soon as possible, you need to file your claim in a complete and accurate manner, or else it will not be approved. Even when complete and accurate, many claims are denied or insufficient. This is where an experienced social security disability attorney can step in to help, to make the process less burdensome and make sure that you have the strongest claim to receive as many of the benefits as you need.

Services by our Disability Lawyers

Our lawyers can help make the process of applying for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits easier by performing the following tasks:

  • Gathering documents related to your social security disability claim;
  • Determining the strength of your social security disability claim by consulting with medical professionals who know what information is successful in an SSD and SSI application and who can give advice on how to strengthen your claim;
  • Certifying your application is complete and accurate;
  • Revising any errors and discrepancies that may harm your chances of being awarded benefits;
  • Representing your social security disability claim on appeal if it has been denied, and providing fierce representation for your application’s reconsideration; and
  • Fighting for the maximum value of your benefits.

How Our Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorneys Can Help You

The lawyers at Cannon & Associates help individuals who need to file a successful application for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. Additionally, if an individual got a negative Social Security Administration ruling on the benefits, we can help appeal that ruling and fight to get your benefits. If that ruling gets reversed, we can also secure disability “backpay” after a wrongfully denied claim.

The lawyers at Cannon & Associates will be FIERCE advocates for your rights. If you are concerned about your Social Security application, did not get the decision you want from the SSA, or just don’t want to deal with the complex process of applying on your own, we are here to help. Please contact us for any additional information.

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorneys

Experience matters when you or a loved one is seeking social security disability benefits in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorneys you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of Social Security Disability laws. Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for clients in need of social security disability benefits and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40 attorney. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight for benefits in your social security disability case. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at (405) 906-4051 for a free confidential case evaluation.