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How To Qualify For Disability Social Security Benefits

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Benefits For People With Disabilities

How to Apply for Social Security Disability

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

pays benefits based on financial need.

When you apply for either program, we will collect medical and other information from you and make a decision about whether or not you meet Social Security’s definition of disability. Periodically, we will need updated information about your condition. You may receive a Disability Update Report . This form can now be completed online.

Use the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool to find out which programs may be able to pay you benefits.

If your application has recently been denied, the Internet Appeal is a starting point to request a review of our decision about your eligibility for disability benefits.

If your application is denied for:

Social Security Disability Insurance : The Basics

There are two basic rules for getting SSDI:

You must meet both of these requirements to get SSDI benefits. However, there are some other situations where you may get similar benefits from Social Security:

  • If you are an adult with a disability that began before you turned 22, you may qualify for Childhood Disability Benefits .
  • If you haven’t turned 19 yet, you may qualify for child’s benefits if one of your parents gets SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits, or if a parent died. You do not need to have a disability.
  • If your spouse or ex-spouse qualifies for SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits, or qualified before dying, you may be able to get benefits.

If you qualify for SSDI or these other benefits, the amount you get each month is based on your Social Security earnings record . The more youve worked and the more youve paid in Social Security taxes, the higher your benefits will be.

After getting benefits for two years, you automatically get Medicare health coverage.

Social Security has two disability benefits programs with very similar names:

If you have questions about SSDI and need to talk with somebody, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 or visit your local Social Security office.

If you want to ask about how work might affect your SSDI benefits, try contacting:

What Affects Social Security Retirement Amounts:

Social Security payments are different for everyone because they are decided by a number of factors. What you get for your own retirement will depend on:

Your full retirement age: While you can start collecting as early as 62 years old, the amount of money you get from each payment will depend on if you retire before or after your full retirement age. This is based on the year you were born, and you can find your own full retirement age HERE.

When you start collecting: Collecting before your full retirement age could reduce your monthly payments, while delaying them past your retirement age could increase the amount you get.

If you continue to work:Continuing to work after you begin receiving Social Security payments could increase the amount of money you get in the future, because the SSA recalculates the payments for their recipients each year.

If your family qualifies for benefits: Some family members may qualify to get benefits from your Social Security account, as much as one half of your full retirement benefit amount. This will not lower the amount that you personally receive from your Social Security benefits.

The Social Security Administration has a Retirement Estimator to help give you a general idea of what you can expect to receive.

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Filing For Social Security Disability With A Parkinsons Disease Diagnosis

The SSA has a complied list guidelines of conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Under it’s listing in the “Blue Book,” Parkinsons Disease is a condition that can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits provided that certain diagnostic criteria are met and documented which include:

  • rigidity
  • bradykinesia, or tremor in two extremities causing ongoing problems with movement
  • gait, or ability to stand

There is no single test that can provide a definitive diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease. Diagnosis is based upon an evaluation of the symptoms present, as well as a neurological examination.

Also, the presence of at least two of what are considered to be the cardinal symptoms of Parkinsons can be considered to be strongly indicative of the presence of the condition.

Additionally, tremors of the hands that occur while the hand is at rest, symptoms that begin on one side of the body, and/or a positive response to levodopa are also telltale diagnostic tools.

It can be assumed that these symptoms could be used as the basis for a Social Security Disability case on their own should they become serious enough to inhibit ones ability to work. If the disease has progressed to this point, however, the patient has likely already qualified based on physical/motor symptoms.

Can I Receive Social Security Disability And Retirement Benefits

What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?

In most cases, you cannot receive Social Security disability and retirement benefits at the same time, since SSDI benefits are meant for those who cannot work due to injury or illness. If youre receiving retirement benefits, it is already implicit that you are no longer working. There is one exception to this rule, however.

If you take an early retirement at age 62 before applying for disability benefits, and are later found to have been eligible for disability during that time, the Social Security Administration will make up the difference between your early retirement benefits and your monthly disability benefits for those months that you received early retirement payments. Of course, youll have to submit adequate documentation that you took an early retirement because of your disabling condition.

Its also worth noting that some individuals can draw monthly benefits from more than one Social Security program. For example, you may be able to qualify for both SSI and SSDI or retirement and SSI.

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Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

What happens if a medical condition you have worsens and youre unable to work? Or if you are suddenly diagnosed with cancer or kidney disease and become unable to work? Its important to know the safety nets you have with social security disability insurance benefits should you ever need to apply for them in the future or currently. In the blog, well break down what medical conditions qualify you for SSDI and how having a disability attorney on your side can make all the difference.

Survivors Benefits For Spouses

Widows and widowers are eligible for benefits under their deceased spouses record, generally including:

  • 100 percent of the workers benefit amount if they are at full retirement age
  • 71-99 percent of the workers benefit amount if they are older than 60 but younger than full retirement age
  • Benefits beginning at age 50 if they are disabled and the disability started before or within 7 years of their spouses death
  • 75 percent of the workers benefit amount at any age if they are taking care of your child, who is under 16 years old or disabled, who received benefits on your record. They must also not have remarried.

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How To Apply For Disability Based On Depression

If you’re applying for Social Security disability insurance , you can file your whole claim online on Social Security’s website. Applying online is generally the fastest way to apply for benefits, but you can fill out the application at your own speed. Most individuals filing for SSI only can’t file the entire application online, but they can get started on Social Security’s website. If you’re not comfortable online, you can call Social Security at 800-772-1213 to start your claim. For more information, see our article on applying for Social Security disability benefits.

If you’d like help with your application, or you just can’t get started, think about working with an SSDI expert. According to a survey of our readers, applicants who filed an initial application without expert help were denied 80% of the time. Click for a free case evaluation with a legal professional to determine whether your depression is severe enough to qualify for benefits.

Maximum Family Amount For Survivors Benefits

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

The total amount of Survivors Benefits paid out to a family cannot exceed a certain amount, usually between 150 and 180 percent of the basic benefit rate. If the payments for all of the surviving family are greater than this, the amount of money they receive will be lowered.

Divorced spouses dont count toward this amount, unless they are caring for the deceased persons child as a divorced mother or father.

The Social Security Administration uses a number of factors to decide what your maximum family amount will be. To see these explained in detail, head to .

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How Long Does It Take To Get Disability For Parkinsons

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer on how long it will take you get to get disability benefits for Parkinsons.

After your initial application is complete, it will take the SSA around 3-5 months to get back to you with a decision regarding your claim.

The exact time varies depending on the time it takes for you to get all of your medical records and information over to the SSA to make a decision.

If the SSA denies your application, you are able to appeal the decision, but that will prolong the time it takes for you get disability for Parkinsons.

The more medical evidence and documentation you have to support your claim with Parkinsons, the shorter time it could take for you to get the benefits you deserve.

Social Security Helps People Work Without Losing Benefits

Often, people would like to re-enter the workforce but are afraid they might lose disability benefits if they try to get a job. If you are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security disability benefits, you can participate in Social Securityâs Ticket to Work program. The Ticket to Work program allows you to receive free employment support services and take advantage of work incentives that make it easier to work and still receive benefits such as health care. In some instances, you can receive cash benefits from Social Security, and you are protected if you have to stop working due to your disability. Learn about our Ticket to Work program or call1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 .

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Benefits For Your Spouse

Benefits are payable to your spouse:

  • Age 62 or older, unless your spouse collects a higher Social Security benefit based on their earnings record. The benefit amount for your spouse is permanently reduced by a percentage, based on the number of months up to their full retirement age.
  • At any age if they are caring for your child under age 16 or who was disabled before age 22, and is entitled to benefits.

Social Security’s Standard Listing For Depression

How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security publishes a list of common, serious illnesses that qualify for disability if they meet the specified criteria. The purpose of the list is to be able to grant disability quickly for severe impairments. Clinical depression is covered in Social Security’s impairment listing 12.04, Depressive, bipolar and related disorders. The listing includes a set of symptoms and a list of functional problems you must have to qualify for either Social Security disability or SSI disability benefits on the basis of depression.

First, you must show you have severe depression by having at least five of the following symptoms:

  • depressed mood
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • thoughts of death or suicide, and/or
  • a slowing of physical movement and reactions, including speech, or increased physical agitation, such as hand wringing or pacing.

In addition to having at least five of the above symptoms, you must also meet “functional” criteria to show that you have a loss of abilities due to the mental disorder. Generally, you must have an extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas, or a “marked” limitation in at least two of the following areas:

  • understanding, remembering, or applying information
  • interacting with others
  • concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace in performing tasks, and/or
  • adapting or managing oneself.

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The Number Of People Qualifying For Social Security Disability Benefits Has Increased

For over 60 years, Social Security disability has helped increasing numbers of workers and their families replace lost income. Several factors have contributed to this increase, which the Social Security Trustees and our actuaries have projected for decades. For example, baby boomers have reached their most disability-prone years and more women have joined the workforce in the past few decades, working consistently enough to qualify for benefits if they become disabled.

Despite the increase, the 9 million or so people getting Social Security disability benefits represent just a small subset of Americans living with disabilities.

If Your Spouse Also Worked Under Social Security

If your spouse is eligible for retirement benefits on their own record, we will always pay that amount first. But, if the spouses benefit that is payable on your record is a higher amount, they will get a combination of the two benefits that equals the higher amount.

If your spouse will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, their Social Security benefit on your record may be affected.

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What Do I Need To Know About Advance Designation

You should be aware of another type of representation called Advance Designation. This relates to the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, which was signed into law on April 13, 2018.

Advance Designation allows capable adult and emancipated minor applicants and beneficiaries of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Special Veterans Benefits to choose one or more individuals to serve as their representative payee in the future, if the need arises.

To help protect whats important to you, we now offer the option to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event that you can no longer make your own decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees, but we must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.

You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal account, by telephone, or in person.

Were There To Provide Comfort During Difficult Times

How Sick Must You be to Qualify for Social Security Disability?

The loss of a loved one can be both emotionally and financially difficult. Some widows, widowers, and children may receive to help them cope with the financial loss. The number of credits needed to provide benefits for survivors depends on the workers age when he or she dies.

Unmarried children who are under age 18 can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when a parent dies.

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Does A Medical Condition Have To Be In The Listing Of Impairments

An applicant doesn’t need to have an impairment that is listed in Social Security’s Blue Book to be awarded disability benefits. For instance, migraine headaches are not included in a listing, but if an applicant’s migraines are severe enough and are well documented, Social Security may grant disability benefits if the migraines make it impossible for the disability applicant to work a full-time job. Other common impairments that aren’t listed in Social Security’s blue book include carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia,chronic regional pain syndrome,reflex sympathetic dystrophy, celiac disease, and degenerative disc disease.

The keys to getting benefits for a condition that doesn’t have a listing are that the condition must:

Social Security determines your RFC by looking at how much you can lift and carry and how long you can walk and stand. Then the agency assigns you an “exertional level”âheavy, medium, light, or sedentary. If your exertional level doesn’t allow you to do any jobs that you’re suited for, you can qualify for benefits vocationally.

Why Is There A Shortfall In The Disability Insurance Trust Fund And What Can Be Done About It

As described above, Disability Insurance is funded by a dedicated share of payroll tax contributions0.9 percent of taxable wages paid by workers and the same amount by employers. Since the mid-1990s the Social Security Administration has consistently projected that the Disability Insurance trust fund would have sufficient reserves to cover all scheduled benefits until 2016, but that after that date, additional funds would be needed to avoid a shortfall in the necessary funds to continue paying full benefits. If no action is taken to address the shortfall, the Disability Insurance trust fund will only be able to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefit levels after 2016.

Congress has addressed similar shortfallsin both the Disability Insurance trust fund and the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund, which pays retirement benefitsnearly a dozen times in the past by temporarily reallocating the share of overall payroll tax revenues that is dedicated to each trust fund. In some cases, they have reallocated funds from the Disability Insurance trust fund to the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund in others, they have reallocated funds from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund to the Disability Insurance trust fund.

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