Learning About Social Security Disability Benefits

There is a high possibility that you can qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) if you are currently disabled and cannot work because of your disability. The Social Security Disability program is a federal program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA provides financial benefits to qualifying participants every month. These benefits ensure that disabled individuals can keep living in safe and secure housing while being able to pay for medical attention and other costs.

One of the main ways to qualify for the SDD benefits is to meet the SSA standards for disabled individuals. Furthermore, you need to have earned enough work credits to become eligible. Understanding the SSD better can consequently help you understand whether you qualify for the funds or not. You will also receive a better understanding of the application process and the other benefits.

About Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration offers financial benefits to qualifying Americans who do not work because of their medical condition. Additionally, there are other requirements that the individual must meet. The financial benefits allow disabled individuals to keep their independence while paying what they need to pay every month such as housing, nutrition and medical costs.

When you are approved for funds, you will keep receiving payments every month until you do not qualify anymore or become retirement age. Once the individual has become retirement age, the funds will become retirement benefits. Also, the amount of funds will stay the same every month. 

Find Out About the Requirements for Social Security Disability

Eligibility for Social Security Disability begins with the standards from the Social Security Administration and their definition of disability. You must work a specific amount of years at a job where you paid for Social Security taxes. But if you do not meet the work requirements, there is a chance for you to be eligible for the Supplemental Security Income rather than SSD. 

Work and SSD Qualifications

In order to decide whether an applicant is eligible for Social Security Disability, the SSA will calculate the work credits of the applicant has accumulated throughout his or her lifetime. The number of credits he or she has earned is based on the gross annual wages. Every year, he or she can earn up to four credits, which are equal to $5,440. 

The number of work credits accumulated needed to be eligible for SSD will be based on the age that you become disabled. Typically, most Americans must have 40 work credits to qualify, with 20 of the credits having been earned within the past decade. If you are younger, then this number of credits is reduced. 

Definition of Disabled According to SSA

Social Security Administration only gives SSD funds to you if you are a disabled person who meets the standard for completely disabled. Funds will not be paid for short-term or partial disability. What is considered completely disabled by SSA standards if:

  • Social Security Administration determines that you cannot acclimate to doing work because of your disability.
  • You cannot do the work you were doing previously because of your disability.
  • Your disability has lasted or is anticipated to last for at least a year or will result in death.

The SSA will go through a detailed reviewing process to determine if you meet its definition of disabled. The first step is to decide if you meet the standards is to know how frequently you are working. If you earn more than $1,220 every month, you can typically be eligible for funds. 

The next step is that the SSA will review how severe your condition is. To be eligible for SSD benefits, the medical condition you have will need to heavily inhibit your capacity to do work for at least a year. The inhibitions can include:

  • Standing.
  • Walking
  • Sitting.
  • Remembering.
  • Lifting.

If the SSA determines that your medical conditions are, in fact, making it difficult for you to work every day, then the SSA will make another determination. Depending on the condition you have and how severe your condition is, the SSA will decide whether you can continue doing the work you were doing before or any other kind of work.

The SSA will have to consider some factors to decide if you can perform any previous work. In order to make that decision, the SSA will use these determining factors:

  • Age.
  • Education level
  • Transferable skills
  • Work experience.

Once the Social Security Administration finds that you indeed cannot work because of your disability, the SSA will approve you for the SSD funds. However, if the SSA finds that you are capable of working, they will not provide you with the benefits.

How to Apply for SSD Benefits

It is important that, when you become disabled, you send your application for SSD benefits as soon as you can. You can submit your application online, at your local Social Security office or over the phone with a representative. You can qualify for benefits if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Not receiving SSD benefits at this time on your Social Security record. 
  • Not able to work because of your medical condition and your condition is anticipated to result in death or will last at least 12 months.
  • Not already denied SSD benefits within the last 60 days.

Furthermore, it is suggested that you contact the Social Security office in your area to make an appointment first if you want to complete your application in person. You can also call the SSA at (800) 772-1213 to make an appointment to complete the application either in person or over the phone.

Information for SSD Application Submission

You must give the SSA information about yourself, employment history and give the SSA documentation to support the information you provide. This information is usually personal like:

  • Your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Your date and place of birth.
  • The name, date of birth and SSN or your spouse and any former spouses.
  • Birthdates and names of any children younger than 18 years of age.

It is also possible to deposit your funds into your checking account. If you want your benefits to be deposited directly into your bank account, you need to give your bank account information.

Information on Your Employment and Medical Condition

You need to give the SSA plenty of information about the medical condition or illness that contributes to your disability. You will have to provide information about your doctors and hospitals, all medications you are taking for your condition and any medical test that you have had with the name of the person who sent you for them. 

For the SSA to determine whether or not you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, they need to find out if you have enough work credits and if you cannot perform any work you did before. Thus, you need to give them information on your employment history like:

  • Your annual income from the year prior.
  • A copy of your Social Security statement.
  • Names and address of employers before and your current employer.
  • At most, name five jobs you have had in the past 15 years before that you were not able to work because of your condition.

Helpful Facts About Social Security Disability Insurance

Residents can be eligible to receive financial benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, which is provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the beneficiary must be a worker who receives a disability before he or she reaches the age of retirement. Although many people do not want to consider the chance of being disabled, it is better to prepare for the risk. Statistics about how common disabilities are can be frightening, but learning more about SSDI can help you protect yourself for the worst-case scenarios.

Americans are offered a variety of different resources from the SSA that can assist them in planning for major life changes like retirement and disabilities. While the information provided by the SSA is valuable, it can be overwhelming for new beneficiaries of the SSDI program. Continue reading to learn some of the most important facts about Social Security Disability Insurance.

Fact 1: There Are Certain Qualifying Disabilities

In accordance with federal law, the SSA provides specific criteria for what is considered a qualifying disability. Based on the SSA guidelines, all of the following must be true for a worker to be considered to have a disability for SSDI:

  • Have a complete disability and not a partial disability
  • Have not reached the age of retirement yet
  • Be unable to perform your work anymore due to a disability
  • Have a condition that is expected to remain for more than one year or ultimately results in death

There may be other government assistance programs with more broad criteria of disability, but the SSA must abide by specific rules established for participants in SSDI. Fortunately, this means that some applicants who may not qualify for SSDI may still be eligible to receive benefits from other assistance programs.

Fact 2: You Must Meet the Minimum Work Requirements

The SSDI program is designed to offer benefits to workers who have earned it by paying their Social Security taxes for the minimum amount of time. In some cases, a worker’s family may be eligible for SSDI based on his or her work record. Disabled adult children may be qualified to receive benefits for their disability if it began before they were 18 years of age.

As you continue along with your career, you will be earning SSDI “credits” after each quarter of the year that you spend working. To qualify for SSDI you may require between 20 to 40 work credits based on your current age. Typically, the younger you are when you initially receive your disability, the fewer work credits you will need to be eligible. 

Fact 3: You Should Learn How to Apply for Benefits as Soon as You Become Disabled

One of the advantages of the SSDI program is that you can apply for benefits as soon as you become disabled and meet all other eligibility requirements. However, the benefits of SSDI will only be distributed after a six-month period. The waiting period will begin on the first full month since the applicant received their disability according to the SSA. 

Fact 4: You May Also Qualify for Supplemental Security Income

In many cases, you may meet the eligibility requirements for both the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. Although these programs have similar names, they operate slightly differently from each other. For example, SSI is designed to offer financial benefits to elderly citizens or individuals with disabilities who are also making a low income. Low-income applicants living with a disability may be eligible for benefits from both programs. 

Fact 5: SSDI Beneficiaries Can Still Receive Medicare

The federal government offers people who are retired, living with disabilities and those with certain medical conditions access to a health insurance program called Medicare. Under this program, coverage begins as soon as eligible residents receive their disability benefits for two years. Qualified candidates will receive their Medicare card by mail once they are eligible for health care coverage through the program.

Prior to enrolling in the Medicare program, you should take some time to learn about your options for health insurance coverage. By enrolling in Medicare you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B coverage, which consists of hospital and medical insurance. You should take some time to consider whether a Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan is a good fit for you. Based on your medical requirements, the prescription drug coverage offered by Medicare Part D may also be necessary for you.

Fact 6: You Can Receive SSDI and Return to Work

Participants in the SSDI program may also be qualified for the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program. In this program, beneficiaries may be able to take on job training and receive other services that can help them prepare to return to work with their disability. However, it is important to note that returning to work may not be the best option for everybody. 

Fact 7: Benefits From SSDI can Transition to Retirement Benefits

As you grow older and continue to receive SSDI, your payments will automatically transition into retirement benefits once you reach the appropriate age. During this transition, the amount of benefits you receive will not be changed.