Applying For Social Security Disability And Ssi Benefits
You can apply online for Social Security Disability benefits, you can file in person at your local Social Security office, or by calling 772-1213.
To find your local Social Security office, click here and enter your home zip code. Locate a Social Security Office.
Before you begin your application, you should collect certain information regarding your medical treatment, work history and other facts. To view a checklist of the information that you will need, Disability Checklist.
When you are ready to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, Apply for Disability. You will not have to complete the entire application in one sitting. You will have the option of saving your application and returning to it later.
You can also complete most of your application for SSI Disability benefits online, but to finish the application process you will have to visit a Social Security office. You canApply for SSI to begin the SSI application process for yourself or for a child.
What If My Application Is Denied
If your application is denied, you have the right to appeal the SSAs decision. The appeal must be submitted within 60 of the date you received notice of the decision and can be submitted online.
Your denial letter will offer guidance on which of the four levels of appeal you should pursue. Your appeal may be for:
- Reconsideration of your application
- A hearing by a judge
- A review of your case by the Appeals Council
- A Federal Court Review
The person most qualified to handle your appeal is an experienced SSD lawyer.
Get Help For The Application Process
Applying for disability can be an overwhelming task. While you can try to apply alone, you may find the help of a disability attorney invaluable. They can help you through the process and increase your chances of an approval.
An attorney who specializes in disability claims is experienced and understands the workings of the process. Many applications are initially denied. If this happens to you, its important to remember that time is of the essence. A disability attorney can be the advocate you need to help your claim be on the fast track to an approval.
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Contact A Disability Attorney Or Advocate For Help
Because the medical evidence and doctors’ opinions you provide to the SSA in support of your claim will largely determine whether you win or lose your disability claim, you may want to contact a lawyer or advocate. Experienced disability attorneys and advocates are trained to identify what type of information you need to win and will look over your case to determine what further evidence you need.
Number Of Credits Needed For Survivors Benefits
The number of credits needed for family members to be eligible for survivors benefits depends on your age when you die. The younger you are, the fewer credits needed. Nobody needs more than 40 credits.
Under a special rule, we can pay benefits to your children and your spouse caring for your children, even if your record doesn’t have the number of credits needed. They can get benefits if you have credits for one and one-half year’s work in the three years before your death.
If you are receiving retirement or disability benefits at the time of your death, we will pay your survivors based on that entitlement. We will not have to determine your credits again.
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Education Work History & Military Service
You must also provide basic information about your education and a detailed history of your recent employment. Documents and information youll need include:
- Highest level of education completed, the city/state where the school was located, and the date you left school
- Any vocational training or trade schools attended, including the date you completed them and the city/state they were located in
- Copies of W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns from the previous year
- Employer information or self-employment information for the current year and the past two years
- The date that your medical condition began to affect your ability to work
- Types of jobs you had in the 15 years prior to your disabling condition
- Kinds of tasks you were assigned at the job you had the longest
- Service in the U.S. military, including branch, type of duty, and service period dates
- Your discharge papers if you were discharged from the military prior to 1968
Recent Legislative And Regulatory Proposals
The Biden Administration has proposed legislative changes that would raise the maximum federal benefit under SSI to at least the poverty threshold for the United States . Under current benefit amounts, about 3.3 million SSI recipients are poor. The Administration has also proposed increasing the resource limits in SSI by changes in the price level in the United States. Under current resource limits, to qualify for SSI, individuals must have resources below $2,000 and married couples must have resources below $3,000. These limits have been fixed in dollar amounts since 1989. The Administrationâs proposal would increase these to about $4,300 and $8,600 in 2021 . Amounts would be automatically increased for future price growth. The Biden Administration has further proposed to eliminate benefit reductions due to âin kindâ support received by SSI recipients and to set the couple rate under SSI to twice that of the individual rate.
The Trump Administration proposed legislative changes to disregard earnings of disabled students for purposes of calculating SSI benefits, which would allow students to increase earnings without a loss in SSI benefits. The Trump Administration also proposed legislative changes to reduce total SSI benefits in cases where more than one person in the family qualified for SSI. These proposals were not acted upon by Congress.
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Benefits For Widows Or Widowers With Disabilities
If something happens to a worker, benefits may be payable to their widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse with a disability if the following conditions are met:
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse is between ages 50 and 60.
- The widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse has a medical condition that meets our definition of disability for adults and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivors benefits. If they want to apply for these benefits, they should contact Social Security immediately at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment
To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.
We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
Get Help From A Social Security Disability Lawyer
To get help with applying for Social Security programs, accessing crucial documents, appealing a decision, or just to talk about all your legal options, consider contacting Social Security Disability Advocates USA. We offer free consultations to anyone with questions about disability benefits. Theres no hidden fees and no obligation to utilize our legal servicesjust quality legal advice from a compassionate and dedicated law firm.
To get in touch with a Social Security disability lawyer, give us a at . Representatives are also standing by via LiveChat to answer your questions. To request your free case review online now, simply fill out this form.
This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.
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The Basics About Disability Benefits
The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The SSI program pays benefits to adults and children who meet our requirements for a qualifying disability and have limited income and resources.
While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the nonmedical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.
What Happens After I Submit My Application
Once submitted, your application will be processed and reviewed. The time this takes will vary, depending on the type of disability you have and other factors. For example, the review process moves faster for those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , pancreatic cancer, or leukemia.
Reviewers may contact you with questions or to request additional documentation. The SSA will let you know of their decision to approve or deny your application via US mail, usually within three to six months.
As you await the SSAs decision, you can check the status of your application online using your my Social Security account, or by calling during hours of operation.
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What To Expect After You Have Filed For Disability
Once we receive your completed claim application, we will determine your eligibility. You can expect this process to take up to 14 days.
Note: Processing time may vary depending upon the claim. If your claim is incomplete or requires additional information, confirming eligibility can be delayed.
During this time, we will send you a Notice of Computation to inform you of your potential weekly benefit amount based on the wages you earned in your base period.
Receiving this notice does not confirm your eligibility to receive DI benefits.
What Documents Do I Need To Apply For Social Security Disability
Getting ready to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits but arent sure you have all the proper documents? The disability application process can be a little intimidating if youve never done it before, and ensuring that you provide adequate evidence of your disability is crucial to getting approved the first time. Find out more about the documents needed for Social Security disability with this guide from Social Security Disability Advocates USA.
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When Do I Have To Apply For Medicare If Im Still Working
You dont have to apply for Medicare if youre working and have group medical coverage, but you may want to.
If you are an eligible, employed Medicare beneficiary who has group medical coverage, you may choose to delay Medicare enrollment. But Medicare could offer a cost savings and if your employer has less than 20 employees, youll have no choice but to enroll. Consider these important timelines and regulations when you apply for Medicare while still employed.
How Credits Are Earned
Since 1978, you earn up to a maximum of four credits per year.
The amount of earnings it takes to earn a credit may change each year. In 2022, you earn one Social Security or Medicare credit for every $1,510 in covered earnings each year. You must earn $6,040 to get the maximum four credits for the year.
During your lifetime, you might earn more credits than the minimum number you need to be eligible for benefits. These extra credits do not increase your benefit amount. The average of your earnings over your working years, not the total number of credits you earn, determines how much your monthly payment will be when you receive benefits.
Read our publication, “How You Earn Credits,” for more information.
Applying For Disability Benefits Can Be A Challenging Process
According to the SSA, many applicants for disability benefits have had their initial application denied for various reasons, including:
- Technical problems with an application
- Disqualification based on medical information
Between 2001 and 2010, the SSA approved only about 45 percent of disability claims. This suggests that applying for disability benefits is not a straightforward process for many applicants. SSDI or SSI application errors are possible, if not likely.
You have the right to seek help from a third party to help you with applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can review your application, saving you time and helping you avoid errors that could delay your claim.
Appealing A Social Security Decision
When you get a denial, the initial reaction is to resubmit and reapply. However, this could take longer and wouldn’t be a better course of action. When you get denied in the first round, you can appeal your case and have a second examiner evaluate it. If you get rejected again, you can take it to court and request an administrative hearing.
At every stage, you are given a deadline to make your appeal. As soon as you receive a denial letter, lodge your appeal so the timeline starts. Doing things early will save you the hassles of missed deadlines and last-minute appeals.
Also, when you opt for an appeal, the SSA already has a record of your application. This can increase the chances that you’ll be approved, although it won’t be a guarantee.
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Who Is Automatically Enrolled In Medicare
If youre already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday, youll be enrolled automatically in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you live in Puerto Rico and are receiving those benefits, only Part A will come to you automatically youll need to take extra steps to enroll in Part B.
Youll receive your Medicare card in the mail and can start using it the beginning of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of a month, your coverage will start a month earlier.
Part A, which covers hospitalization, is free if you or your spouse has paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters, the equivalent of 10 years. Part B, which covers doctor and outpatient services, has a monthly premium of $170.10 for most people in 2022, and the Social Security Administration will automatically deduct the premium from your monthly benefit.
But if you or your spouse is still working and you have health insurance from that employer, you may not have to enroll in Part B yet. You can send back the card and enroll in Part B later. Follow the instructions on the back of the card to delay enrolling in Part B if youre already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.
Information We Need About Your Work And Education
To decide whether you are disabled, we use a five-step process. Listed below are frequently asked questions about Step 4 and Step 5 of the process.
We need to find out about your past work to decide if you can still do it. To make this decision, we need to know how you did your job. We also need to know if you learned skills on your job.
We need this information to see if you can do any of your past work. Remember that you are not disabled according to our rules unless your illnesses, injuries or conditions prevent you from doing your past work or adjusting to other work.
Information about your education and training are also very important to us. If you cannot do your past work, we look at your age, education, training, and work experience to see if you can do other kinds of work.
Disclaimer: The following is general information only. The Social Security Act and related regulations, rulings and case law should be used or cited as authority for the Social Security disability programs.
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Health Resources For People With Disabilities
Federal, state, and local government agencies and programs can help with your health needs if you have a disability.
Explore the Disability and Health section of CDC.gov for articles, programs, tips for healthy living and more.
Learn more about benefits for people with disabilities from the Social Security Administration.
Contact your local city or county government to find out what medical and health services are available locally for people with disabilities.
Your state social service agency can help you locate medical and health programs.
Visit USA.govs Government Benefits page to learn more about government programs and services that can help you and your family.
If You Get Ssi Disability And Dont Have Medicaid
- In many states, SSI recipients automatically qualify for Medicaid and donât have to fill out a Medicaid application.
- In other states, your SSI guarantees you Medicaid eligibility, but you have to sign up for it.
- In a few states, SSI doesnât guarantee Medicaid eligibility. But most people who get SSI are still eligible.
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Additional Information That May Impact Your Benefits Eligibility
The SSA outlines some of the requirements to apply for benefits under SSDI and SSI. They include:
- Having a condition that has prevented you from working for at least one year
- Being at least 18 years of age
Beyond these basic requirements, the SSA will request several types of information as part of your application. Your answers to these questions and your ability to provide various forms of documentation may directly impact your eligibility for benefits. Some questions on the Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application may ask about:
- The age you were at the time that you became disabled
- How many years you participated in the workforce before becoming disabled
- The nature and severity of the medical condition that causes you to be disabled
- Your marital status
- Whether you have any dependents
- Whether you can complete any type of work to earn an income
- Your education and work history
Your ability to provide thorough documentation about the nature of your medical condition and the date of the conditions onset is essential in determining your eligibility for benefits through SSDI and SSI.