At our law firm, we advocate for Illinoisans with disabilities that prevent them from working in their claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It is well known that the administrative process can take a long time before the Social Security Administration (SSA) grants benefits. There are four levels of application, review and appeal before the agency and then the option to ask the federal courts to review a denial.
Sources of law and policy
Detailed, complex federal laws and regulations as well as years of federal case law written by judges control this process and define the rules for benefits eligibility. The most common way federal law is created is when Congress passes laws (statutes) that the president signs. Congress first enacted the Social Security Act in 1935, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt. Congress has amended and expanded the Act, consisting of many statutory sections.
The SSA as a federal agency has the power and responsibility to write and enact regulations on particular topics when the federal statutes in the Act give that authority to the agency. There are many regulations providing detailed standards that apply to the SSDI and SSI programs.
Legal representation can make a difference
Statutes, regulations and case law are the primary sources of law that govern SSDI and SSI. Because of the level of detail involved, it can be very helpful to enlist the guidance and advocacy of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to help with your application or appeal.