This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

Social Security Disability Insurance (called SSD or SSDI) is designed to provide monthly benefits to individuals who have been determined to be medically disabled, which physically or mentally limits their ability to be employed. If you are suffering from an illness or injury that has left you unable to work or if you are completely disabled, you may be eligible to receive monthly social security disability benefits. Getting those benefits can be difficult. At the law firm of Brown & Crouppen, we understand how important those benefits can be to you and your loved ones — we also know that an initial denial is not the end of the road.

If you or a loved one is struggling to get social security disability, get help from a lawyer at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm. Request a free case evaluation by calling (888) 795-0694 or submit your case online. Since our law firm’s founding in 1979, our social security disability attorneys have helped our clients recover millions in compensation.


The attorneys at the law office of Brown & Crouppen have extensive experience with disability cases like yours. They understand the application process and have represented hundreds of cases before administrative law judges (ALJ) in federal court. We can work with you to gather the necessary medical evidence (such as medical records), work history, and other documentation needed to help you at every hearing level in the application and appeals process.

Whether you need assistance with your initial application or have already been denied benefits and need to prepare for reconsideration, our Social Security disability attorneys want to help you navigate the complex Social Security disability claims process. It’s easy to get started with a free consultation.


The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies benefits to a significant portion of first-time applicants and often terminates existing benefit payments. Statistics prove that people with lawyers are more likely to win their cases than those who go it alone.

Almost all the cases we take are disability claims that have been turned down by people who didn’t have Social Security disability attorneys. The SSA is not on your side. Their job is to represent the system, not you. At Brown & Crouppen, we are here to get you the Social Security benefits you deserve. Our team includes some of the Midwest’s most experienced Social Security lawyers to handle the intricacies of your individual SSD claim.


We start by reviewing your situation to determine whether you are eligible for Social Security benefits. SSD benefits are for people who have worked and paid into Social Security, then later become disabled. To be considered disabled, you must prove that:

  • You cannot do any type of work for which you are suited because of a medical condition, and
  • Your condition is expected to last for at least one year or is terminal.

If you are disabled, but you do not have enough work history to qualify for SSD benefits, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, another Social Security Administration program.


If your Social Security benefits have been denied, reduced, terminated, or the SSA notifies you of any other actions against you, you must immediately file for “reconsideration.” You have only 60 days to file an appeal. If you appeal within ten days of being notified of a disability benefit action, you may be able to continue receiving payments while you appeal the decision. Continue your medical care and keep documentation; they are important to support your claim.

Whether you need assistance with your initial application or have already been denied SSD or SSI benefits and need to prepare for reconsideration, our attorneys want to help you navigate the complex Social Security disability claims and appeals process. Call today for a free case evaluation.

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Get started with a free consultation with one of our skilled Personal Injury Lawyers today.


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration (title II of the Social Security Act (the Act)). Only individuals who have a disability and meet certain medical criteria may qualify for benefits under the program.

The program pays monthly cash benefits to individuals who have become disabled and cannot work. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, the applicant must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of ‘disabled’, and have worked enough, and recently enough, paying into the Social Security system to qualify.

For more information, access the federal website:

SSI is a federal program, administered by the Social Security Administration, that provides financial assistance to people who have low income and few resources. Eligibility is limited to individuals who are aged, blind, or disabled. SSI offers cash benefits to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. The basic SSI amount is the same nationwide. However, many states add money to the basic benefit.

SSI pays benefits based on financial need, unlike Social Security Disability which is partly based on your work history and amount of taxes you paid into the Social Security system.

Qualifying for Social Security Income (SSI) does not exclude a disabled individual from other assistance, including Social Security Disability, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other available programs.

Both Social Security Disability and Social Security Income programs require medical evidence for the determination of disability. The Social Security Administration has representatives / case workers that will help you to get medical reports from your treating physician(s). Social Security also requests copies of medical evidence from hospitals, clinics, or other health facilities where a claimant has been treated. All medical reports received are considered during the disability determination process.

Other information and records can be submitted on a claimant’s behalf, including information provided by social workers, public and private welfare agencies, employers, and other professionals.

A Social Security Disability attorney can play an important role in helping guide the applicant through the sometimes complex process of applying for benefits. A lawyer can advise you of the records you will need, and what evidence and information can be submitted throughout the review process. Contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Brown & Crouppen today.

Work Qualifications
To qualify for benefits, you must first have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Then you must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.

Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly income. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year. For example, you earn one credit for each $970 of wages. When you’ve earned $3,880, you’ve earned your four credits for the year.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled.

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

For a complete list of impairments automatically considered “disabilities” by the Social Security Disability program, visit:

Social Security Disability benefits are based solely on your inability to work. Your injury/illness must be ‘long term’, or be expected to keep you from work for at least 1 year.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will conduct a continuing disability review on a periodic basis to determine whether the applicant is still eligible for disability benefits. The applicant is notified in writing of the impending review and its requirements. The applicant may be required to undergo a medical examination and may submit other relevant evidence for SSA consideration.

Yes. Workers’ Compensation is an assistance program for injured workers that is managed by state statutes. Social Security Disability is a federal program. Participation in one program does not exclude you from receiving benefits from the other. However, the total benefits amount that you are eligible for under Social Security Disability may change if you are receiving Workers’ Compensation.

Consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Brown & Crouppen for assistance in understanding the laws as they apply in your state.

The Social Security Administration has a built in appeals process for reviewing denied claims.

It is important that you understand that you are not alone. A significant number of applicants are frequently denied benefits the first time they apply. If you have not already contacted an attorney, you should obtain counsel to make a “Request for Reconsideration” within 60 days from the date of your denial letter.

Generally, there are four levels of appeal available:

  • Reconsideration – A reconsideration entails a complete review by the SSA of its initial decision. A social security representative who was not involved in the original application or decision conducts the review. The representative may also review any new evidence submitted by the claimant.
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge – An administrative law judge conducts a hearing. The claimant may appear in person at the hearing but is not required to do so.
  • Review by the Appeals Council – The Appeals Council of the SSA does not review all hearing decisions. For decisions it does review, the Council will either render a decision or return it to the administrative law judge for further review.
  • Federal Court Review – A claimant who is dissatisfied with the final appeal decision may bring suit in federal court within 60 days of the decision.

There are specific deadlines that need to be met throughout the Social Security application and appeals process. It is very important that all forms and records be submitted as requested by the Social Security Administration, or the claimant could face a denial of benefits.

Often, the injured / disabled individual is overwhelmed with his or her medical problems. There are medical bills to pay, appointments to keep, paperwork and phone calls that need to be made. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney at Brown & Crouppen can help by providing advice, managing the application / appeals process, and representing your interests throughout the process.

Social Security Disability Insurance monthly benefit amounts are based on your lifetime average earnings. The Social Security Statement that you receive each year displays your lifetime earnings and provides an estimate of your disability benefit. If you do not have your Social Security Statement and would like an estimate of your disability benefit, you can call toll-free, 1-800-772-1213, to request a copy of your statement.

If you are getting other government benefits, the amount of your Social Security disability benefits may be affected. This includes Workers’ Compensation payments and / or other public disability benefits payments, such as State Disability Insurance.

The Social Security Disability application process can be a very challenging experience. While many individuals do handle the process themselves, statistics show that claimants that are represented by an attorney are more likely to be approved for benefits.

Why? An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer is familiar with the SSD application and appeals process. They understand what types of records and paperwork are needed for each step of the process, and what deadlines apply along the way. Your attorney’s experience will allow them to submit the needed information in such a way to strengthen your claim. Often, applicants submit too much, irrelevant information which can hamper their case.

An attorney can sometimes speed up the review and appeals process, making certain that no representative has filed paperwork incorrectly, or made a typographical error, or other mistake to jeopardize your claim.


Unfortunately, accidents happen all the time throughout Missouri, Illinois, and across the United States. For more than 40 years, the personal injury lawyers at Brown & Crouppen have been helping accident and disability victims get the justice they deserve. We have a team of attorneys that handle workers’ compensation and Social Security disability cases.

You are not alone. Workers’ compensation and personal injury settlements are often not enough when you have a long-term disability as a result of your injury. That’s why SSD and SSI are such an important benefit. You paid into the system, and we want to help you pursue the SSD and SSI benefits you deserve.

We know that the application and appeals process can be overwhelming. Appearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) or appeals council can be scary. Let us help you get the legal advice you need. We’ve helped thousands of people just like you with legal representation for their personal injury and Social Security disability cases. Watch some of their testimonials below and give us a call.


If you or a loved one is struggling to get social security disability, request a free case evaluation from a lawyer at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm. Our social security disability lawyers have helped 1000s of individuals file successful claims and obtain SSDGetting started is easy.

We are proud to be top social security disability lawyers in:

You can call us at 888-801-9825 for a free consultation, or tell us about your case with our Free Case Review form. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.


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