If you are suffering from a long-term physical, mental, or medical condition which renders you unable to work, you may be an eligible recipient of cash benefits from the government’s disability benefits and income supplementation. Below are the top four frequently asked questions about social security disability claims.
What are Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) governs two main programs for people with disabilities or the elderly: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI targets disabled workers who have been employed for a set number of years, while SSI was created for those with low income, few assets, and impairment.
Who are Qualified to Receive Disability Insurance or Income?
As the name implies, only people suffering from a disability may seek benefit payments. If you qualify as “disabled”, there are additional requirements that must be fulfilled depending on the type of program you applied for.
You need to show medical evidence that your disability either lasted for more than a year or may lead to death, and how this severe disability prevents you from participating in substantial “gainful activity”. You may get medical records from doctors or therapists that are treating you.
SSDI beneficiaries must have accumulated enough work credits to qualify. SSA determines the required number based on how old you were and what year your disability started. You also need to show a record of about five years of employment activity within the past ten years prior to being a disabled worker. Your FICA tax payments may also affect the amount you will receive.
SSI beneficiaries have different qualification standards depending on your state. This is because the source of funds is a partnership between the SSA and your state government. Although the criteria vary, the general requirements include being disabled or elderly (not less than 65 years old), a US citizen, and having a low income. US permanent residents, refugees, or those under military service may be eligible for SSI benefits under stricter requirements.
How much Cash Benefits are Petitioners Entitled to Receive?
SSDI benefits for approved applicants include average monthly payments between $1,100 and $1,300. After 24 months of receiving these payments, they also become eligible for Medicare.
Under SSI, the amount you received from the government is calculated based on your income and property values and your state may choose to supplement this amount. As a general rule, assets must not exceed $2,000 for individuals and no greater than $3,000 for partners. Based on 2019 records. the average federal government support an individual may receive is about $771 per month, while couples can get up to $1,157 monthly. Depending on the state, you may qualify for Medicaid or food stamps once two years have elapsed since receiving your first disability cash assistance.
What Should Qualified Beneficiaries Do?
Once you have determined your eligibility on your own or with the help of a lawyer, you should apply for a disability claim with the SSA. The SSA will then call on its medical professionals and claims examiners to evaluate the validity of your request. They will evaluate you for residual functional capacity based on a predetermined listing. Once the evaluation phase is complete, you will be informed about whether you can expect to receive a monthly cash benefit.
In some instances, your claim may be denied because SSA may deem you as not disabled. In this case, you may still file an appeal but it would be best to do so with the help of a disability attorney.
If you are ready to file a claim but unsure how to go about the process, or if you wish to submit an appeal in the SSA’s decision, get legal advice. Our disability lawyers at Farmer & Wright, PPLC have over a decade of experience in handling these kinds of cases. Contact our office or visit our website to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.