What Does Blindness And Disabled Mean
The SSA defines blindness for SSI eligibility to be a central visual acuity that is 20/200 or less in your better eye. You might also qualify for SSI benefits if the field visual limitation in your better eye is not greater than 20 degrees.
Disabled adults must be unable to complete any type of substantial gainful activity . This means you must prove you cannot work for a period that is not less than 12 consecutive months. Through its Compassionate Allowance Program , the SSA provides immediate financial assistance for applicants that meet the minimum standards established for defining a disability.
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 to have a qualifying disability under Social Security rules if all the following are true:
- You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity because of your medical condition.
- You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition.
- Your condition 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.
Talk To A Social Security Disability Lawyer For Free Today
SSDI pays more compared to SSI for most people. However, both programs can provide benefits for necessary needs. If you need help from SSI or SSDI , contact a Social Security Disability lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we have helped countless clients get the benefits they need. We can help you with the application process, appeal process, and everything else. To get a FREE consultation, reach out to us today.
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Applying For Disability Benefits Can Be A Challenging Process
According to the SSA, many applicants for disability benefits have had their initial application denied for various reasons, including:
- Technical problems with an application
- Disqualification based on medical information
Between 2001 and 2010, the SSA approved only about 45 percent of disability claims. This suggests that applying for disability benefits is not a straightforward process for many applicants. SSDI or SSI application errors are possible, if not likely.
You have the right to seek help from a third party to help you with applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can review your application, saving you time and helping you avoid errors that could delay your claim.
How Much Ssi Will I Receive
The Federal Benefit Rate and State Supplementary Payment
SSI money comes from two placesthe federal government and the state government. The federal government currently pays a maximum of $771.00 a month. Every year, this amount goes up a little to help people with SSI adjust for changes in cost of living. Many states supplement the federal payments at varying levels. In California, in 2019, the
2 How Do I Apply for SSI?
state supplement is $160.72 a month. So, in California you can receive a maximum of $931.72 a month.
Why Does My Adult Disabled Child Receive Less Than the Maximum $931.72 Per Month?
Just because you qualify for SSI doesnt mean you will get the full $931.72 per month. Your payment depends on many factors, such as where you live and whether you pay your fair share of food and rent. So, adults with I/DDs often get a lower benefit rate because they live with their parents and do not pay for food and rent, or they pay for food and rent but not enough to be their fair share. This is called the In-Kind Support and Maintenance problem.
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What If Your Adult Child Became Disabled After Age 22
An adult child who becomes disabled after age 22 can still sometimes qualify for Social Security disability, but not for adult child benefits. Becoming disabled after turning 22 means your child will be treated as a disabled adult. To get benefits, an adult must either:
- have low enough income and assets to qualify for SSI, or
- have worked and paid into Social Security long enough to collect SSDI.
While an adult must have some work history to be eligible for SSDI, young adults require fewer “work credits” to qualify for SSDI benefits.
A work credit represents three months of work where the person earned at least $1,510 you can earn up to four credits in one year.
Most people need to have earned 20 credits within the last 10 years to be eligible for SSDI. But a young adult worker under 24 needs to have earned only six credits in the three years before the disability started. And young adults aged 24 to 31 need to have worked half the time since they turned 21. For instance, a young adult who becomes disabled at 25 must have earned two years’ worth of credits, or eight credits, in the last four years to be eligible for disability.
If you or someone you know was disabled after age 22 and you have questions about SSDI eligibility, you can contact the SSA. You might also benefit from talking with a lawyer specializing in Social Security disability claims.
Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility
SSI is a program that pays monthly cash benefits to blind or disabled children and adults who are blind, disabled, or over 65. SSI is different from SSDI , which is a program that pays benefits to disabled adults who have paid FICA taxes over the course of their working history.
To qualify for SSI, you must have limited income and few assets. Social Security requires SSI recipients to have less than $2,000 in assets, for a single person, and $3,000 for a couple .
The income limit is more complicated. The way Social Security counts income is different than the way we usually think of income. Countable income includes wages or any other kind of money you earn from working, plus money you get from other sources like unemployment, Social Security retirement, or gifts from friends, but also, free food or shelter. In addition, to encourage SSI recipients to work, Social Security excludes part of your income from its calculations.
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Is Your Condition Severe
Your condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work-related activities, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting, or remembering for at least 12 months. If it does not, we will find that you do not have a qualifying disability.
If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
Qualifying Under A Parent Or Grandparent’s Work Record
For a disabled adult child to collect SSDI, a parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent must be:
- currently receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits , or
In some cases, a grandchild or step-grandchild can be eligible for SSDI benefits if there’s no living parent and the grandparent or step-grandparent:
- is collecting retirement or disability benefits, or
- was entitled to collect them before dying.
Although this Social Security benefit is called a “child’s benefit,” your disabled adult child must be over 18 to qualify. But your adult child doesn’t need to be a young person. In fact, because parents don’t usually begin collecting Social Security benefits until late in life, disabled adult children can sometimes be middle-aged before becoming eligible for benefits.
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Ssi If You Are Younger Than 18
If you are under 18, SSI says you are a child and have a disability if:
- You have a physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments
- Your impairments cause severe limitations in your daily life, and
- Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months.
Not everybody with a disability automatically gets benefits. You must also have no other way to pay for basic expenses like food, rent, and utilities. If you are under 18, SSI decides whether you need help by looking at the money you and your parents earn and the resources you and your parents have, including bank accounts, stocks, real estate, and insurance policies.
SSI counts both your income and resources and your parents income and resources when you are under 18 because they expect your parents to pay for your living expenses. This is called parent-to-child deeming.
For example, SSI could look at your parents income and decide to lower your benefits by $200 due to parent-to-child deeming. Instead of giving you a check for $841, they would give you a check for $641.
Almost all children under 18 have benefits sent to a parent or guardian. This person is called a representative payee. Occasionally, persons who are 16 or older can be their own payees, but they must meet strict criteria and prove that they are capable of managing their own finances.
Expedited Ssdi Application Process
To expedite new disability claims, the following initiatives have been created:
Social Security makes allowances for people to receive benefits quickly if they suffer from medical conditions that are so obvious that they easily meet disability standards.
Compassionate Allowances quickly identify diseases and medical conditions that fall under the Blue Book of Impairments with minimal medical information. This allows Social Security to speed up the process of helping people obtain benefits in the shortest amount of time possible.
The list of Compassionate Allowances has been developed based on public hearing held by Social Security, along with input from medical and scientific experts and the National Institutes of Health. Currently allowances include disabilities such as Alzheimers disease, cardiovascular disease, organ transplants, schizophrenia, and others.
A full list of Compassionate Allowances can be found here.
Quick Disability Determinations:
Sophisticated computer screening is used here to identify cases that have a high probability of allowance.
Benefits For Disabled Adults
SSDI is available to disabled adult workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is a need-based program only available to applicants that meet strict limitations on income and asset holdings. If you have never worked due to your mental illness, you will not qualify for SSDI. If you have financial support from friends or family, you will not qualify for SSI.
Is Autism Considered A Disability
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication and social interaction skills. Autism is thought to be present from birth and is usually recognized by three years of age. Not everyone with autism displays the same behaviors.
Asperger’s syndrome and “pervasive development disordernot otherwise specified” are often included on the “autism spectrum.”
There are many signs and symptoms of autism, and they’re experienced by varying degrees only severe autism is considered a disability.
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Listed And Unlisted Conditions Must Be Severe
Whether the SSA has or hasnt listed your impairment, you will need more than a diagnosis to qualify for disability benefits. For listed conditions, your diagnosis and medical records must match the SSAs requirements for that specific condition. The medical evidence you present must align with the symptoms, signs, and other criteria for that impairment. If you dont meet all the requirements of a listed condition, you can still present your medical evidence. The SSA can review it and determine if its severity is equal to an impairment it considers severe.
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Appealing Denied Social Security Disability Application
Its common for applicants to be denied. In fact, only about 1 in 3 applicants are initially approved for SSDI benefits. The two main reasons for denial are usually a lack of work credits, or that applicants do not meet the criteria for disability.
If you have been turned down, you do have the right to go through a Social Security Disability appeal process. Either you or your designated representative can file a Request for Reconsideration. Your initial appeal will then be turned over to Disability Determination Services, who will thoroughly review your file.
If you are denied again, you can proceed to the next level of appeal which is to appear in front of an Administrative Law Judge. An Administrative Law Judge will conduct a hearing in which all of your medical records and testimony will be heard before the judge renders a decision in the form of a written notice.
If you are still denied benefits, then you have a final appeal step you can take: filing a lawsuit in U.S. district court. You will need an attorney for this step if you havent already retained one. This can be an expensive and time consuming option, and as a result, less than 1% of disability claimants take their cases to this level.
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Your Impairment Does Not Have To Be On The Ssas List
If you want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to note that your impairment does not have to appear on the SSAs list. Examples of such conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome and celiac disease, among others.
However, you must present a formal diagnosis of your condition to the SSA that shows it is a medically determinable impairment that prevents you from functioning in full capacity. This means your condition must be severe enough to prevent you from working or performing your daily activities. This reduction in capacity is known as the residual functional capacity.
If your disability meets the SSAs requirements, it might consider it to be equivalent to a listed condition. You must obtain this diagnosis from your doctor to prove your condition, but it is only the start of the process. It does not mean you will automatically receive approval for benefits.
My Benefits Were Terminated What Should I Do
When SSA terminates your benefits, they must send you a notice of cessation. It is important to know that you have the right to appeal. Time is critical. You must file the appeal within 10 days of the date on the notice, to keep your benefits while the appeal is heard. If you dont win the appeal, you must pay back the money you received from the date of the original determination. If your benefits were stopped, it may be helpful to speak to an experienced disability attorney or advocate. You can find a listing in Chapter 5 of this guide.
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Which States Pay Extra Ssi Payments And How Much
While many states pay all SSI recipients some additional money, some states pay the supplement only to SSI recipients who live in nursing homes. For example, Texas pays a $60 supplement to those living in a nursing home and pays nothing to others. Similarly, Georgia pays an extra $20 to those living in nursing homes, and nothing to others. Maine pays only $10 extra, both to those living independently and those living in nursing homes.
A few states don’t pay a supplement at all, including Arizona, North Dakota, and West Virginia. Oregon no longer pays an SSI supplementary payment, but some residents with special needs can receive a cash benefit through the Oregon Supplemental Income Program.
California pays the average highest supplement, making the average payment there $729 per month. Here are the average SSI payments, including the state supplemental amounts, for the next ten states with the most SSI recipients.
SSI Payment Amounts by State
Visit our state SSI disability articles to learn the details of the SSI payment for your state.
How Do Adults With Autism Qualify For Ssi Or Ssdi
An adult with autism syndrome can apply for SSI or SSDI. However, SSDI is available only to those with a work history from jobs that paid Social Security taxes.
Here’s one exception: An “adult child” of a parent receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, meaning a child over the age of 18 who has had autism before turning age 22, can get SSDI benefits on the earnings record of the parent. For more information, see our article on disability benefits for adult children.
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Adult Ssi Disability Payments: What Are The Adult Ssi Disability Qualifications
When it comes to filing for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in the United States, it is critical to understand what you will be required to provide in order to be eligible for the benefits.
Individuals and family members who are judged to be insured under the SSDI program are eligible to receive benefit payments if they meet the programs eligibility requirements.
What exactly does this imply? You must have worked for a sufficient amount of time in a relatively recent period and have paid Social Security taxes on your earnings in order to qualify.
Disability is defined differently by Social Security than by other programs, with this program paying for full disability and not for partial disability or short-term disability, as is the case with other programs.
When applying for the SSDI program, there are three important considerations to keep in mind, as failing to do so would almost certainly result in your application being refused. It is essential that the following conditions are met:
- Because of your medical condition, you are unable to work or participate in a significant gainful activity .
- Because of your medical condition, you are unable to perform past work or adjust to other types of work.
- Your ailment has lasted or is likely to last for at least one year, or it will result in death if you do not seek treatment.