When most people hear the term Social Security, they automatically think of retirement benefits for people over the age of 65. However, there are other types of Social Security Benefits available for those that need them such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program of the United States government. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is administered by the Social Security Administration and assists people with physical or mental disabilities that prevent them from working. Individuals with a disability and can meet mental or medical criteria for disability can qualify for benefits under this program.
The Social Security Disability program is one of the two largest Federal programs available for people with disabilities. The other is the Supplemental Security Income program that provides assistance for people dependent upon their income. Workers that have become disabled and have accrued the requisite amount of working quarters or Social Security credits are eligible to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits, as are certain members of their family affected by the loss of income by the disabled worker. This can be a great solution for disabled workers to financially support themselves and their family. The amount an applicant can receive is based on past earnings, but the average payment is 1171 dollars per month with a monthly maximum payment of 2687 dollars.
How You Can Qualify for Disability Benefits?
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):
- The applicant must have a medical or mental disability that will prevent them from working for 12 months up to the remainder of their natural life.
- The applicant must not have a partial or short-term disability.
- The applicant’s disability must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability.
- The applicant must be younger than the full retirement age of 65.
- The applicant must have the requisite amount of earning quarters. This is generally 20 Social Security credits in the last 10 years prior to the onset of disability (normally four credits per full or partial year); one additional credit is required for every year by which the worker’s age exceeds 42 years of age. However if the worker can demonstrate that they became disabled at the age of 22, they may be able to use their parents’ Social Security credits with no loss of benefits to the parents.
Applying For Disability Insurance
To apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, the applicant must first submit an application to the Social Security Administration. The application can be submitted in person at a local Social Security Administration office or online on the Social Security Administration website (www.ssa.gov). One advantage of applying online is the Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool which will show the applicant the programs the applicant are eligible. Another advantage of applying online is the convenience of applying and monitoring the application from the comfort of home.
The Decision Process
The Social Security Administration will review the application as well as any medical documentation the applicant has to substantiate his or her claim. This documentation can include medical records from their physician or other documents to support the claim of disability. It is best to have these documents at hand at the time of application as to shorten the amount of time the decision process will take. The process for applying for Social Security Disability Benefits is not a short one and the average decision can take four to six weeks. However, the quicker the applicant provide the documentation that the Social Security Administration asks for the quicker the process can be.
Appealing If Your Application is Denied
In the event that the application is denied, the disabled worker should not hesitate to appeal which can be done on Social Security Administration website by submitting an Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report. This report will ask for additional or updated information about the disability and any treatments, physician visits or tests performed since the Social Security Administration made their decision. If the application is denied for non-medical reasons, the applicant should contact their local Social Security office to request a review. This can also be done over the phone at the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number. While no worker wishes to become disabled, in the advent that they do, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available. As in the case of retirement benefits, this is a benefit the worker has already paid for through their payroll taxes so no disabled worker should hesitate to take advantage of this program.