How Do You Apply For Benefits
When you are ready to apply for Social Security benefits, you can apply in a number of ways. For individuals living in the United States, applications can be taken over the phone, online or by visiting a local Social Security office.
Individuals who do not reside within the United States or any of its territories must contact the nearest U.S. Social Security office, Embassy or consulate.
S In The Approval Process
To better understand how long it might take to have your claim approved, you should be aware of the process Social Security uses to determine if a disability is severe enough to qualify for benefits.
SSA uses a five-step sequential evaluation process for an initial review of applications, and this generally takes about three to five months for either program, assuming there are no red flags that can cause a delay. For both programs, there are exceptions to this process that can expedite approval.
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People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
If you are blind or have low vision, Social Security offers several adjustments to disability benefits to accommodate the additional difficulties associated with loss of sight.
These accommodations include being able to work toward Social Security credits after you become blind, delayed benefits that will increase if you continue to work without receiving disability benefits and a higher monthly salary cap.
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What Are Ssd And Ssa
Social Security Disability is one of the programs of Social Security that aims to assist disabled workers who cant continue to earn an income due to the said disability.
Social Security Administration is the government agency that administers all processes and requests relating to any of the SS Programs from the tax contributions to application processes to benefits disbursement.
SSA has divided SSD into two different programs: the SSDI and the SSI.
- Social Security Disability Insurance is an earned benefit. Benefits vary on several factors such as the age of the person when the disability case is incurred and filed.
- Supplemental Security Income is not tied to a beneficiarys social security tax contributions or work history. However, the income from other sources must not exceed the set caps.
Social Security Disability benefits vary based on several factors.
For SSI disability, an individual can receive up to $783 monthly benefit, while a family or a couple can receive up to $1,175. Aside from citizens with disabling conditions, persons with low income and limited resources, as well as seniors over 65 years old, can be qualified for SSI.
Why Do Judges Take So Long To Rule
The judge may want to take advantage of issuing a written ruling to thoroughly explain the reasoning behind their decision. Court dockets are often extremely crowded. Taking a matter under submission lets the court get right to the next scheduled case. The court can work on its written decisions at a later time.
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Other Payments May Affect Your Disability Benefits
If you receive certain other government benefits, such as workers’ compensation, public disability benefits, or pensions based on work not covered by Social Security , the Social Security benefits payable to you and your family may be reduced.
For more information about how these benefits can affect your Social Security payments, please refer to the following publications:
When Do Cpp Disability Benefits Expire
CPP disability benefits last for the duration of the disability or until you turn 65 , although it is subject to periodic review. The frequency of those reviews will depend on how your disability is classified. As often as every 6 months if your disability has an expected recovery period such as in auto accidents and as long as every 3 years for chronic illnesses like diabetes.
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What Sort Of Information Will I Have To Give Social Security When I Apply For Ssdi
You may need to give the following when you apply for SSDI:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all doctors, hospitals and clinics that have given you medical treatment, and the dates of treatment
- Names of any medications you are taking
- Copies of any medical records you have
- Your Social Security Number and the Social Security Numbers for your spouse and any children under the age of 18
- A certified copy of your birth certificate
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency, if you were born in another country
- A certified copy of your military discharge papers , if you were in the military
Social Security provides a detailed checklist of the information you need to complete the application process.
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 ceasedâexcept under certain exceptions. For more information, read our article on when you might fail a continuing disability review.
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Help Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
The qualification process for disability benefits may be complicated and confusing, but an experienced Social Security disability lawyer can provide the help you need to receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us today by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.
Will I Receive A Notice From The Social Security Administration Explaining My Benefits
Yes. That notice is usually called a Notice of Award. This notice will show the date of entitlement and the amounts of benefits for all months of back benefits. It will show the total amount of benefits to be paid to you. It will show the amount of benefits withheld for direct payment of attorneys fees. It may also give you information about your Medicare eligibility and monthly Medicare premium. It may also give you some information about when to expect a continuing disability review.
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Earning Too Much Money
One possible reason why benefits might stop is that you start working or begin to earn too much money. SSDI and SSI are meant to provide benefits for people who do not work, so if you become able to earn a substantial income, this will affect your ability to collect disability. Generally, if you are receiving SSDI and you begin to make more than $1,310 per month , your benefits will be suspended . These limits don’t apply to SSI recipients SSI recipients who work have to stay under certain SSI income limits and will have their SSI checks reduced when they make over $85 a month in income.
Even if you stay under the limits, Social Security may see your work as evidence that your condition has improved. There are, however, programs where you can try working for a period of time without jeopardizing your right to collect benefits, called trial work for SSDI recipients and ticket to work for SSI recipients.
Fact: Ssdi Is Designed To Be A Long
You can apply only if the disability is expected to be long-term 12 months or longer or if the condition is so severe that it’s viewed as terminal. The program is meant for those with ”the most severe impairments in the country,” Jarrett says.
Other private programs pay out for short-term or partial disability, but Social Security disability insurance does not. Yet some states may award temporary funds to people who can’t work because of illness not caused by work. You can contact your state’s Department of Labor to see if you quality for temporary disability benefits.
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What We Mean By Disability
The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.
We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if all of the following are true:
- You cannot do work that you did before because of your medical condition.
- You cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings, and investments.
You Apply For Ssd Benefits
You can apply for disability benefits in three ways:
Online You can fill out forms available at the SSA website.
You can apply by phone and follow it up by mailing in your documentation or taking to your nearest SSA office. The number to call is 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 . The number is available between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on business days. The interview should take about one hour.
Applying For Disability Benefits
You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits online or in person at your local Social Security office. You will be asked to fill out a number of forms, which you should complete with as much detail as possible, and you may be asked to attend a consultative exam. After completing the disability application process, you will receive a decision from the SSA within two to four months. If you are approved for benefits, this notice will tell you when benefits will begin, which benefits you will be receiving, and how much you will be receiving each month. If you are denied benefits, you have 60 days from the date of denial to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny benefits.
If you do need to pursue a Social Security Disability appeal, do not give up hope. A number of applicants who are denied during the initial stage of the application process go on to successfully receive benefits through the process of an appeal
What Are The Qualifications For Ssdi And Ssi
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must:
- Have earned a sufficient number of work credits.
- Not be engaged in substantial gainful activity.
- Meet SSAs definition of disability.
- Be unable to do any job youre qualified for.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must:
- Be aged , blind, or disabled.
- Have limited income.
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‘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.
You Must Receive Routine Doctor
One way the SSA determines your eligibility for monthly disability benefits hinges on your credibility as an applicant. If you havent sought treatment for your condition or discussed symptoms with your doctor, it looks bad to the SSA. If you arent treated, the SSA automatically assumes your condition isnt limiting you as much as you say it is. The more documented evidence from your doctor showing regular treatment appointments and progress notes, the higher your chances for approval. Among all disability secrets, this ones likely to result in your technical denial if you cant or wont follow through. In other words, no physician actively treating your disability = no claim approval for benefits. If you cannot afford to see a doctor, make an in-person appointment at the SSA office for a referral.
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Qualifying For Ssi And Ssdi
The Social Security Administration operates two disability programs including Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance . Each of these programs has its own criteria that an applicant must meet in order to qualify.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, an applicant must have earned enough work credits through prior work history. As of 2014, for every $1,200 earned, a worker earns one work credits and can earn a total of four work credits each year. The number of credits needed to qualify for SSDI benefits will vary depending on your age.
Unlike SSDI benefits, an applicant does not need any work history or work credits to qualify for SSI benefits. Instead, SSI is a needs-based program. Benefit eligibility is based on household income and assets. As of 2014, an individual cannot have a household income of more than $721 per month as an individual or $1,082 per month as a couple or household assets exceeding $2,000 as an individual or $3,000 for a couple in order to qualify for SSI benefits.
For both SSDI and SSI benefits, an individual must meet the medical criteria set forth by the SSA to qualify.
For more information on the disability programs visit:
Applying For Both Ssdi And Ssi
Readers who applied for both SSDI and SSI waited somewhat longer, on average, to receive decisions than those who applied under one program . This makes sense, because these “concurrent” applications are more complex and therefore probably take longer to review they may also require more bureaucratic coordination between different offices.
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Your Path To Disability Income
If youre no longer able to work because of serious medical issues, the wait to see if youre approved for income can seem to stretch forever.
Its difficult enough dealing with your health problems. Now youre facing a financial emergency, too. You need disability benefits to steady your life as soon as possible. Knowing how long you may wait can help you plan and cope.
If youre filing for disability benefits for the first time, statistics from the Social Security Administration show the average wait nationally is 2 to 4 months from the time you apply until your receive a decision on your original application. At our law firm serving people in Charleston and around South Carolina, we typically see decisions within six months.
But that might be just the beginning. If youre denied benefits, you canand probably shouldappeal the decision, which takes longer.
At the Robertson Wendt Disability Finkel Law Firm LLC, get started by having us give you an idea of what your specific application will take.
If You Receive The Mailer Only
About 72% of all disabled adults receive the short-form mailer only. This form, called the Disability Update Report, asks you about whether your health has improved, whether you and your doctor have discussed your ability to work, whether youve visited a doctor, clinic, or hospital, and whether youve done any recent work, school or training.
Most people who fill out the mailer and send it in will get a letter from Social Security after one to three months saying that Social Security does not need to do a medical review at this time. This means you do not have to go through a CDR at this point and your CDR is deferred until your next periodic review.
Social Security will reset your periodic review interval, which it calls your medical reexamination diary, at the same interval it was before you received the mailer. For instance, if Social Security designated you as medical improvement possible and gave you a three-year diary when you were approved for benefits, youll be sent another mailer or long-form report in three years.