Disability is a subject you may read about in the newspaper, but not think of as something that might actually happen to you. But your chances of becoming disabled are probably greater than you realize.
Studies show that just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.
While you spend a great deal of time working to succeed in your jobs and professions, few are think about ensuring that you’ve got a safety net to fall back on should you become disabled. This is an area where Social Security can offer valuable help to you personally.
The disability planner will help you find out:
- How you can qualify and apply for benefits;
- What happens in case your application is approved;
- Who can receive benefits on your earnings record;
- What you need to understand about receiving disability benefits; and
- When Medicare coverage starts for Social Security disability beneficiaries.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits with or without an advocate can be challenging due to how long a claim can take and the high chance of being denied. Statistically, 70% of all SSDI and SSI claims are refused after the initial application. What does this mean for SSD and SSI applicants who are disabled and need help? That they ought to follow this advice tip: learn all you can regarding the approval system to better your chances of winning on appeal, with or without the help of a disability attorney or lawyer.
The information, suggestions, and guidance presented here can allow you to understand:
The Best Way to Apply for Benefits with the Social Security Administration
- How the SSDI and SSI system works;
- What SSA doesn’t tell you about the application and appeal process;
- What you can do by yourself as a disabled applicant to help your case;
- When you should think about getting a disability representative or solicitor; and
- What you should never do that might potentially hurt your case.
The Average Social Security Disability Benefit Amount
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in 2016 is $1,166 per month, but a beneficiary can receive either less than this or up to $2,639. These benefits are derived from average lifetime earnings, not on household income or how serious the individual’s handicap is. The entire amount a handicapped worker and her or his family can receive is about 150% to 180% of the disabled worker’s benefit. Eligible family members can include a spouse, divorced spouse, children, a handicapped child and/or an adult child disabled before age 22.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security disability benefits come from payroll deductions made into FICA, which funnels the monies to pay out Social Security benefits, such as retirement, spousal and survivors’ benefits (FICA also funds Medicare). Excess capital goes to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, one of two Social Security trust funds that invest money above the amount needed for day-to-day operations of these programs.
As stated by the Social Security website, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked long enough in occupations covered by Social Security. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which are brought in in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. Then, you should have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability.
Social Security Disability Insurance shouldn’t be confused with Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, which pays benefits to people who have financial need no matter their work history.
While there are some conditions the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers so severe they automatically render an applicant disabled, many conditions require careful screening. If an applicant’s condition is not on the SSA pre-approved list eligible for the Compassionate Allowances Program, then the SSA must determine if the illness prevents the applicant from performing his previous job. If so, the next step will be to discover that it also prevents adjustment to another kind of work, considering the applicant’s age, education, skills and medical condition. In addition, qualifying conditions must be expected to last at least one year or result in death.
When Your Benefits Start
If your application is approved, your first Social Security benefit will be paid for the sixth full month subsequent to the date you find that your disability began.
As an example, if your disability started on June 15, 2015, your first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2015, the sixth full month of disability.
Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they’re due. What this means is that the benefit due for December would be paid to you in January 2016, etc.
How Much You Will Receive
The amount of your monthly disability benefit is founded on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.
If you don’t already have an estimate, you can get your Social Security Statement online or use a Benefit Calculators to determine how much you would get if you became disabled right now.
To find out more about your benefits, refer to the following:
- Other Payments May Affect Your Disability Benefits;
- Medicare Coverage In The Event That You’re Disabled; and
- Taxes And Your Benefits.
Discovering Your Benefits
How much cash you receive in Social Security Disability benefits each month will depend on various factors including which disability benefits you are eligible for (SSI or SSDI) and how much money you made and paid into the Social Security system. Annually the Social Security Administration sends a Social Security Statement that allows you to know just how much cash you’d be entitled to if you became disabled at the time the statement was prepared. This statement is the most precise way to estimate your own monthly disability benefit amount. If you do not have a copy of this statement, you can contact the Social Security Administration to request one. It is going to take three to four weeks from the exact date of your request for the statement in the mail.
Should you not care to wait to receive your Social Security Statement, you can also use the SSA’s online benefits calculator to find out just how much money you might receive in monthly Social Security Disability benefits. Of course, these calculators cannot guarantee the sum you will receive or ensure that you will actually qualify for benefits. They can, however, be used as a general guideline to estimate the benefits you may be entitled to.
The Average Disability Benefit
While it is impossible to tell precisely how much you will receive in Social Security Disability benefits until you’re really approved for benefits by the Social Security Administration, knowing the typical Social Security Disability payment can shed some light on how much money the average impairment recipient is entitled to.
As of 2008, the average SSDI payment to individuals who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits was $1,063.00 per month. The typical SSI benefit was $439 per month. The sum you get if you are eligible for disability benefits might be higher or lower than these amounts depending on your past income, your current earnings and the number of dependents living in your family.
Since the SSI program is a needs-based program, some Social Security Disability recipients can qualify for both SSI and SSDI benefits contingent upon their household income along with a number of dependents dwelling in the household.
You may make an application for Social Security disability for any medical condition (or conditions) that:
- Can be considered serious;
- Prevents you from being able to take part in work activity that could be classified as substantially gainful; and
- Has lasted twelve months or more, or is anticipated to last twelve months or more.
Affecting item three, this will not mean that you must wait twelve months before filing a claim for social security disability or SSI disability since the limiting effects of your condition might be projected by social security.
In other words, in case your physical or mental illness prevents you from having the ability to work, you ought to file a Social Security disability claim. The following pages address qualifications:
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Section II: What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Note: If you do not qualify for SSD due to insufficient work credits, it is possible that an SSI disability claim may be filed (the decision of what you can apply for will be made by the social security office where you apply).
What are a number of the illnesses that people file disability claims for?
Regarding physical disability applications often cite the following difficulties:
- Osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis);
- Heart problems;
- High blood pressure;
- Diabetic neuropathy;
- Irritable bowel syndrome;
- Crohn’s disease;
- Peripheral artery disease;
- Various types of cancer;
- Eye problems;
- Hearing problems;
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy;
- Muscular dystrophy; and
- Meniere’s disease.
Viewing mental disabilities (psychological and psychiatric), disability applications frequently contain the following problems:
- Bipolar disorder;
- Major depression;
- Low IQ;
- Personality disorder;
- Anxiety disorder;
- Panic attacks;
- Asperger’s; and
- Mental retardation.