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A Guide to Claim Social Security Benefits

Updated: April 13, 2020  |  Posted by:  |  Related: Personal Injury Compensation

Social Security offers a lot more than just retirement benefits, because persons with disabilities may also qualify for benefits.

First of all, let’s make the difference clear between SSDI and SSI. Social Security has two programs that offer benefits to the disabled: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For this topic, we shall focus on the SSDI program which has been delivering benefits to about 10.8 million people, as of year 2015. On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income program offers benefits to elderly (aged 65 and up), blind, or disabled adults and children who have sufficient way of having income and assets. People who receive SSDI benefits can also receive SSI benefits.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program offers benefits to persons with disabilities who have already worked enough to qualify insurance. Most people still need to work for 10 years. For younger people, however, there are lower thresholds a few other rules as well. A 46-year-old person, for an instance, still has to work for about six years. A few members of the qualifying disabled people’s family can also get a chance to receive benefits.

It is also important for the disabled person to meet the standards or the definition of disability of the Social Security Administration for this program. Beginners will also need to have a long-term medical condition preventing them from working that lasts at least a year or something that leads to death.

If qualified, the amount received in benefits will depend on the history of earnings. The recent average of monthly benefit amounted to $1,165 which is about $14,000 annually. To help you get an idea of what to expect, SSA offers calculators that you can find online.

Now, let’s discuss specific considerations that you should know as the Social Security Administration reviews your application.

SSA considers how much you're earning, although the limits change every year or so. For example in the year 2016, if you're disabled but not blind and you earn more than $1,130 per month, on average, you will not be able to qualify. If you’re blind, the limit is $1,820.

The SSA will also check whether you can still do the work you used to do. If your disability prevents you from doing your previous job, then you probably won't qualify. To determine if you can do other work, SSA will record your age, skills, education, work experience, disability, and so. If it is decided that you are fit to do other work, it is unlikely for you not to have a qualifying disability.

The requirements stated above might be a little demanding, but if you think you or someone you know might qualify, then it’s worth the pressure. Just look at the bright side and be reminded that once you've received your two-year disability benefits, you get an automatic Medicare coverage.

Applying for an SSDI benefits could be more complicated than applying for your retirement benefits, but it is not as difficult as it may seem. You can just simply apply online. Apart from that, you must not currently receive any Social Security benefits based on your own earnings record, and you must be unable to work due to a disability that could last for at least a year or a disability that leads to death. Moreover, disability benefits should have been denied from you within the past 60 days.

To summarize online application, you will have to follow these four steps:

Visit and click into the Disability section.
Fill out the Disability Benefit Application.

Advantages of applying online include being able to do it whenever and wherever you want. You can also just pause any time, save your work and continue filling it out when you’re free again. Lastly, it is easier for you to check on the status of your application. To start the application process online, you may call (800) 772-1213 between 7am and 7pm (Monday to Friday). Those who are deaf or or those who are hard on hearing may also call TTY (800) 325-0778. To apply in person, just visit your local Social Security office. Make an appointment ahead of time, so you can save yourself some waiting time.

When you’re done with the process, the Social Security Administration will review your application to determine whether you’ve met their standards and criteria.Your doctors and health service providers will be consulted by a state agency to know more about your condition and the treatments you've received. You may also be advised to go through a medical exam by your doctor. Payment shall be shouldered by the Social Security.

A letter will be sent to you to let you know how much money you can receive if your application has been approved. If denied, SSA will still send you a letter explaining why; and if you want, you may still be able to file for an appeal. It’s not fun to be disabled and not be able to work. Good thing though that financial assistance is available for you from the Social Security Administration.


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