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Understanding Disability Benefits: SSDI and SSI

By Kimberly Read

Updated October 04, 2010

This series of articles on understanding disability –- SSDI and SSI –- has provided a brief synopsis of the process. The number of details, twists and turns, loopholes and exceptions is, unfortunately, rather large. Tackling this can be quite daunting. However, there is no reason you need to do so alone, and indeed, as was stated in an earlier article, you have a better chance of success if you have a knowledgeable representative.

There are any number of services available to help individuals begin disability applications, understand personal rights and interpret the nuances of law. Here are a few places to start:

  • Call the Social Security Administration - 1-800-772-1213

  • Social Security Office Locator - Contact your local Social Security Office

  • US State Advocacy Programs - Advocacy is the work of organizations or individuals to protect the legal, civil, and human rights of people with disabilities such as bipolar disorder. This includes assistance with disability issues. Each of the states in the United States has an Advocacy Program.

  • NAMI Legal Center Lawyer Referral – The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has a legal center that provides lawyer referrals as a service to its members and the general public.

Understanding Disability Benefits - The Series

  1. I Can’t Hold a Job! What Do I Do? – Introduction
  2. What is Disability?
  3. Do I Qualify for Disability?
  4. Is Bipolar Disorder a Qualified Condition for Disability?
  5. How Do I Start My Disability Application?
  6. What Information and Paperwork Do I Need?
  7. What Happens with My Application?
  8. How Long Will It Take to Get Benefits?
  9. What Benefits Will I Get?
  10. Who Can Help Me?

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  5. Disability
  6. Who Can Help Me? - Understanding Disability Benefits - SSDI and SSI

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