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 assistance and 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.
Receiving And Losing Benefits
Government programs such as SSDI and SSI are meant to provide qualified individuals with an income. If you are of working age but are unable to work due to a disability or earn less than the maximum monthly income for which benefits are provided, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability payments.
If you meet the criteria for receiving benefits, you can apply for benefits, and once they are awarded, you can continue to receive them as long as your status does not change or you do not lose eligibility for benefits in any way. Details on how a change of status can lead to a cessation of benefits are provided below:
Contact Farmer & Morris Law Pllc Today
If you would like legal assistance with your Social Security Disability benefits application or appealing a denied claim, Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC may be able to assist you. We help our clients apply for SSDI and SSI benefits, or appeal denied claims, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Our firm can handle all of the legal work, documents, and deadlines in your case when we represent you. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC operates on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning there are no up-front payments required. Instead, our attorney fees only come as a percentage of your payout, if and when you win your case.
To discuss your case, your legal options, and our services, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at . A member of our team is standing by to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation on your case.
Minor Or Disabled Child
If you are the unmarried child under 18 of a worker who dies, you can be eligible to receive Social Security survivors benefits.
And you can get benefits at any age if you were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
Besides the worker’s natural children, their stepchildren, , step grandchildren, or adopted children may receive benefits under certain circumstances.
When Does Social Security Pay More Than Disability
The reverse of the above situation is if you are between your FRA and age 70. After you reach your FRA, your Social Security benefit amount increases by 0.8% for every month you hold off on electing. This continues until you reach 70, at which point your benefit reaches its maximum. In this situation, your monthly Social Security benefit would be larger than your monthly Disability benefit.
Who Qualifies For Social Security Disability Or Ssi Benefits
If youre still earning more than $1180 a month, the Social Security Administration will not consider you disabled.
To be considered disabled, you must:
- Have a medical condition with a terminal diagnosis or will last at least one year, preventing you from working short-term or partial disabilities do not qualify. There is a list of adult impairments that fall under Social Security, and you check and see if your condition qualifies.
- Fall under the Social Security Administrations definition of disability.
- Be younger than the age at which you qualify for retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Does Disability Pay More Than Social Security
Applying for Disability benefits has a reputation as a time-consuming and inefficient process. Consequently, many people entering their 60s who could potentially qualify for disability benefits may opt to just elect for Social Security a couple of years early to avoid the hassle. However, this strategy has the potential to cost you a lot of money in the long run. Whether opting for disability would be the more remunerative strategy will depend on your age. A financial advisor could help you weigh the best options for your retirement goals.
To be clear, when we say Disability, we mean Social Security Disability Insurance. If we say Social Security, were referring to Social Security Retirement Benefits. Additionally, the analysis presented here is based on the assumption that you are eligible to begin receiving either of these benefits, and therefore are at least 62 years old. If youre younger than that, youre not eligible to begin receiving Social Security benefits. In this case, your only option is to take disability.
Health Coverage For People With Disabilities
If you have a disability, you have three options for health coverage through the government.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities. Learn about eligibility and how to apply.
Medicare provides medical health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease . Learn about eligibility, how to apply and coverage.
Affordable Care Act Marketplace offers options to people who have a disability, dont qualify for disability benefits, and need health coverage. Learn about the Marketplace, how to enroll, and use your coverage.
Cutting Through The Backlog
Wait times differ across the country, but you should expect to wait at least six months. According to the SSA, the shortest wait times for 2021 are in:
- Akron, OH: 6.5 months
- Evansville, IL: 6.5 months
- Elkins Park, PA: 7 months
- Houston, TX: 7.5 months
In certain parts of the US, wait times can be as high as a year or more. Tacoma, Washington, for example, has a current claim-processing time of 497 days. For many people, waiting more than a year to have their application heard can be devastating. In an interview with WIVB, Ohio resident Kathy Nobilio said she was lucky her bank understood that she had been waiting for more than a year for payments.
is just sitting therenothing has been done, Nobilio told the news source. Im afraid Im going to lose my house. The bank has been very patient.
Some people may think they could receive benefits faster if they apply for Supplemental Security Income , but the Ohio Bar says the laws governing who medically qualify are the same for both programs. According to the Federal Times, the issue may worsen as the number of SSA employees continues to decline.
Given the expectation of leaner future budgets, SSA needs to plan to meet its mission with fewer resources, the Office of the Inspector General said, according to the Fiscal Times.
What Is A Continuing Disability Review
To avoid confusion, let us clarify how the continuing disability review is different from the initial review of your application.
The continuing disability review is a periodic review conducted by the Social Security office to evaluate your condition and ensure that you still qualify for your disability benefits. When its time for your periodic review, you will receive a form in the mail that you would have to fill out and send back. This can either be a short form or a long form disability report.
After you send back the form, it typically takes 1 to 2 months for Social Security to review your case. Most disability benefits recipients are approved for continuing benefits after this process.
Social Security Disability Evaluation Process
While there are some conditions that the Social Security Administration considers so severe that they automatically render an applicant disabled, many conditions require careful screening, including answering these five questions:
In addition, qualifying conditions must be expected to last at least one year or result in death.
Other Things You Need To Know
There are limits on how much survivors may earn while they receive benefits.
Benefits for a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse may be affected by several additional factors:
- If you remarry before you reach age 60 , you cannot receive benefits as a surviving spouse while you are married.
- If you remarry after you reach age 60 , you will continue to qualify for benefits on your deceased spouse’s Social Security record.
- If you receive benefits as a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse, you can switch to your own retirement benefit as early as age 62. This assumes you are eligible for retirement benefits and your retirement rate is higher than your rate as a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse.
- In many cases, a widow or widower can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate.
- If you will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, your Social Security benefits as a survivor may be affected.
However, if your current spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, you may want to apply for spouse’s benefits on their record. If that amount is more than your widow’s or widower’s benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits that equals the higher amount.
Michigan Ssdi Hearing Wait Times & Approval By Office
Michigan is part of the Social Security Administrations Region 5, which is headquartered in Chicago. There are 7 hearing offices in Michigan. You can see waiting times for hearings & case dispositions for each office below, with comparisons to Michigan and National Averages.
The Hearing Wait Time is, on average, how long it takes in between when an applicant asks for a Hearing and when that hearing occurs.
The Average Disposition Time is, on average, the number of days in between when an applicant asks for a Hearing, and when the Administrative Law Judge who hears their case actually makes a decision on that case.
The Average Approval Rate is percentage at which cases are decided in favor of the applicant.
|Hearing Wait Time|
As the table here and the chart below indicate, in 2020, you will not need to wait long for a hearing at most of the offices in Michigan. The odd ones out are the Livonia, Mt Pleasant and Oak Park Offices which have longer wait times. The average approval rating of Michigan as a whole is slightly higher than the national average. With Oak Park and Detroit being their best performing offices, at 69.2% and 60.8% respectively.
Chances Of Your Disability Benefits Being Ceased
If your medical records don’t show medical improvement, your entitlement to disability benefits will continue. It’s difficult, in most cases, for Social Security to find that enough medical improvement has taken place so that the disability recipient is able to return to work. Only about 15% of disaiblity recipients have their benefits terminated after a CDR.
Some claimants who were approved for disability benefits through an administrative law judge hearing versus being approved at the initial claim or reconsideration appeal levels may have an easier time keeping their benefits. It can be harder for the SSA to determine that an individual has had medical improvement after an ALJ approval because ALJs have more flexibility in formulating their decisions than disability examiners. Even though a CDR claims examiner may not agree that a recipient was ever disabled, unless there is proof of medical improvement in the medical record, disability benefits can’t be ceasedexcept under certain exceptions. For more information, read our article on when you might fail a continuing disability review.
What Happens If The Deceased Received Monthly Benefits
If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death and any later months.
For example, if the person died in July, you must return the benefits paid in August. How you return the benefits depends on how the deceased received benefits:
- For funds received by direct deposit, contact the bank or other financial institution. Request that any funds received for the month of death or later be returned to Social Security.
- Benefits received by check must be returned to Social Security as soon as possible. Do not cash any checks received for the month in which the person dies or later.
What Happens To Long Term Disability When An Employee Is Terminated
Employers have no obligation to keep an employee who is not receiving long term disability benefits enrolled in her long term disability plan if they are fired except for the minimum standard period of notice. This is one week of continued LTD eligibility for every year of service, up to a maximum of 8 weeks, following dismissal.
In case of termination, it is illegal to cut off long term disability coverage until the statutory minimum notice period is over.
However, some employment contracts will contemplate a more extended period for LTD coverage following termination, so employees should check their contract to determine exactly how long they will be covered after they are dismissed.
On the other hand, if an employee is already receiving long term disability benefits and is terminated from work following this, they can stay on long-term disability until they are no longer totally disabled or reach the end of the term, whichever is first. As an example, someone can become totally disabled, go on LTD for a number of years, then get fired, but stay on LTD until age 65. See my colleagues article about that issue.
Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?
If I Work With A Lawyer How Much Will They Charge
The SSA limits how much an attorney can be paid when they work on your case. The SSA must approve any fee agreement worked out between you and your lawyer. They can only receive up to 25% of your back pay if your application is successful, but you and your attorney can decide on that. If your case is unsuccessful, you wont pay a penny.
Does Social Security Pay Death Benefits
A one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceaseds record.
If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceaseds record in the month of death.
How Can You Speed Up The Social Security Disability Process
Several ways exist to qualify for a faster decision:
- TERI: If the applicant has a terminal disease or condition. You dont need to report that you have a terminal disease, although you can. The SSA can determine this from your medical reports. A field officer can identify a condition as terminal during an interview or the condition can be brought to the attention of the SSA by anyone helping you with your claim.
- Quick Disability Determination : Allows you to file your initial claim electronically. The SSA uses a predictive model that helps it analyze this claim to see if it warrants fast-tracking. You must be suffering from a serious condition and have medical evidence to prove it. If a claim meets the requirements, it will receive a faster decision.
- Compassionate Allowances : Helps Social Security evaluate claims more quickly based on certain conditions. The SSA receives information from the public and a variety of different groups to determine what conditions qualify for a CAL. If your application meets the requirements, it will receive a faster decision.
Michigan Reconsideration Approval Over Time
|Reconsideration Approval Rate|
As the table and the below chart indicate, Michigan has been historically much better than the national average when it comes to Approvals at the level. However, Michigan recently fell below the national average by 0.3%. In 2020, Michigan ranked 31st in the nation for highest percentage of approvals at Reconsideration. However, as you can see, in general, the chances of winning approval at Reconsideration are not particularly high. That is why many applicants must continue in the next level, the Hearing.
You May Qualify For Legal Assistance
The last thing you want if youve recently become disabled is for this process to take two years or longer, so its a good idea to speak with an experienced Social Security disability advocate or attorney before you start the application process. Not only will they be able to help you prepare, but they also know what to do in the event that your application gets denied during the first round. The faster the SSA reviews and approves your claim, the faster youll receive the benefits you need.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Average Length Of Social Security Disability Claims
The Social Security Disability claims process can last anywhere from a few months to a few years. Most cases end up going to a hearing, which usually takes place around 18 months after the initial application for SSDI. If you are denied at that level, and want to appeal further, that final appeal usually takes another year.
Most claims are denied after 3 to 4 months. Serious disabilities, such as terminal cancers, are usually awarded quickly. Only around 1 in 3 claims are awarded at this level. Every claim varies, however, and you may hear back from the SSA sooner or later than 3 months. If you have been denied at the initial level, you have 60 days to file an appeal for reconsideration.
Getting Benefits And Then Returning To Work
If you believe that you may be able to return to work at a laterdate, then you may be able to receive what are effectively temporary benefitsif you are able to successfully able to return to work. This is done through a trial work period, which isa program offered by the SSA where disability recipients can return to workwithout putting their benefits at risk.
The SSA has strict rules about employment while receiving SSDI orSSI benefits. If you earn more than a specified amount of money from substantial gainful activity, then youwill risk losing your benefits. For 2019, the monthly substantial gainfulactivity amount for blind individuals is $2040 and $1220 fornon-blind individuals .
After a person becomes eligible for benefits, they may attempt toreturn to the work force in a trial work period where beneficiaries can workwithout jeopardizing their benefits. Under SSA rules, an individual can workfor 9 months in a 60 month period. If an individual does not feel able to work,then they can stop and continue receiving benefits; however, if they haveearned above the income limit for 10 months, the SSA may suspend theirbenefits.
‘apply As Early As Possible’
The first thing to realize about applying for Social Security disability benefits is that it is often a lengthy process, Geist said.
Once an initial application is filed with the Social Security Administration, it can take three months to five months to get a decision. If that initial application is denied, it can take four months to six months for the application to be reconsidered on a first appeal, Geist said.
From there, if the application has to be reviewed at a hearing, it can take up to 12 months just to get scheduled before a judge, Geist said.
“Apply as early as possible, because it is a long process,” Geist said.
A 2020 Government Accountability Office report found that about 1.3% of applicants filed for bankruptcy while waiting on their appeals, and 1.2% died before receiving a final decision.
“Many particularly those without legal representation end up wrongfully denied on multiple occasions before finally being approved with a lawyer’s help,” said Rebecca Vallas, senior fellow that the Century Foundation. “Untold numbers spend what savings they have to try to stay afloat while waiting for an appeal to be heard and countless more lose their homes in the process.”
There are about 8.2 million disabled workers collecting benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. Their average monthly benefit is $1,277.
How Long Do You Receive Disability Benefits
You’ll receive Social Security benefits as long as you remain sufficiently disabled. This means as long as your disability prevents you from working, you are eligible to continue receiving Social Security disability benefits.
The SSA will conduct periodic reviews of your case to determine whether you are still eligible for disability benefits. These reviews are called continuing disability reviews and they generally happen every few years, although the time period in between reviews depends on the severity of your condition and the likelihood that your impairment will improve. should state when to expect your first review.) You must report changes in your condition to the SSA, even if those changes would result in the cessation of your disability benefits. To learn more about these reviews, see What Is a Continuing Disability Review?
Benefits Of A Shorter Elimination Period
The main reason to choose a shorter elimination period is if you have a lot of expenses that you know won’t be able to be met without continuing to get some income. The catch-22 here, however, is that the shorter the elimination period, the higher the premiums, so if money is truly tight, you may not be able to afford that peace of mind.