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Learn How to Apply for Disability Benefits – Social Security Disability‎ Enrollment Help and Facts

The Disability program offered by Social Security is available in all 50 states of the US. This program provides financial help to people who have contributed funds over their years of tax deducted employment specifically catered towards adult individuals or children with disabilities.

Social Security Disability Insurance pays those funds to you and certain individuals from your family so that you are “protected,” implying that you worked adequately long enough and paid Social Security charges. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits when those struggling need financial assistance.

The Difference Between SSDI & SSI

Social Security Disability is paid typically to those to who have worked for a sufficient or an extended period of time and paid social security taxes from their paychecks. SSDI pays benefits if you or your child become disabled and can no longer maintain secular work to make an income. SSDI will normally provide Medicare automatically as part of their enrollment, but it may be possible to get Medicaid under certain circumstances where one may not qualify. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is restricted to those who have a low income and limited financial resources or have severe medical conditions where they cannot return to any type of work, and possibly may not have enough credits towards social security to sustain their disability need. SSI can have very strict eligibility requirements. In some states, Medicaid is provided automatically while others require a separate approval.

Qualifying For SSDI

The qualifications for SSDI are similar to SSI. Heavily determined based on the disability, severity of the condition, ability to return to work or ability to adjust to other forms of work. It also requires applicants to be between 22 and 65 years old, the amount of time worked will also be taken into consideration. General SSDI Requirements:

  •  Income Must Be Less Than $1,130 per Month
  • Condition must be interfering with simple work-type activities.
  • Proof Of Medical Conditions verifying that conditions will last more than one year, certain severe conditions will render in an individual immediately disabled.
  • Must not be able To Return To Any Type Of Secular Work – This includes inability to return the same job or a lesser skilled job.
  • 1 & a half to 9 Years Of Previous Work Paying Into Social Security

Work Credits For SSDI

The SSDI program uses a unique work crediting structure to determine the amount of benefits you will receive. Work credits are based on the period of time an individual has worked. The amount of credits you may need to qualify for SSDI benefits depends upon your age of when you became disabled. In example, if an individual was 50 years of age when they became disabled, that person would need to have 28 work credits to qualify, or have seven years of work paying into social security.

Medicare For SSDI

Medicare is automatically offered to those who are approved for the SSDI program. However, a person will not be eligible for Medicare until they have received benefits for 24 months or longer. During this extended waiting period, an individual could be eligible for Medicaid depending on their income and their state’s qualifications for the Medicaid program in their state.

Payments To Family Members

With SSDI, family members are also eligible for payments under circumstances in addition to the disabled relative. This primarily applies to Spouses, Siblings, Parents, and other family members who are considered as dependents and could receive up to 50% of the benefit for the family member but cannot exceed the maximum family amount which will be determined based on varying circumstances such as the disabled individual’s age and how long they’ve worked. Auxiliary/Dependant benefits only applies to SSDI, and NOT the SSI program.

SSDI and Survivor Benefits

If the disabled individual were to become deceased while collecting disability under the SSDI program, their current (and ex if applicable) spouse would become eligible for Survivor’s Benefits to keep their families stable financially. This would automatically change from Social Security Disability to Survivors benefits once Social Security Administration learns of the disabled person’s death. Even if the surviving spouse is working, employment will not affect the the spouse’s eligibility for Survivor’s benefits. If you become disabled while collecting survivor benefits from a spouse that has passed, this would still qualify you for SSA’s Disabled Widow Benefits program, this would potentially allow for more benefits in addition to survivor’s benefits.

Approval For SSDI

The application and approval process for the SSDI program can be complex. Once in an individual is approved there is a 5 month wait period before a person will start to receive disability benefits they have been approved for. Even with the 5-month waiting period, that typically applies if an individual has been approved immediately. Immediate approval is rare. Most applications for SSDI can take anywhere from 6-12 months and have commonly requires an appeal in order to get approved. If an approval takes any longer than 5 months an individual and possibly even their family dependents would be eligible for backpay immediately.

Monthly Amount Of SSDI

The amount an individual will get for disability can depend on how much that person has worked previously and how much they earned that would be paid into Social Security Taxes. The household’s overall income is not considered, nor the individual’s current income, only the individual’s lifetime earnings is taken into account.

Denial For SSDI

Denials for SSDI are all too common. This primarily happens because there is some hint of proof that an individual can return to some form of work in the near future, even without the applicant noticing the flaw. An appeal process is available and it is likely you may have to file one based on the commonality of the reports. To request an appeal hearing, an applicant has to request a review of the denial within 60 days of when they receive their letter of denial.