Because of the difficult application process for disability benefits, getting a practitioner of disability law may boost your chances of benefits approval. The attorney could assist in appropriately dealing with the complicated paperwork, making sure deadlines are not exceeded and offering you adequate representation during any legal case.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability
To qualify for Social Security Disability, one must fulfill various qualification criteria set by the SSA.
The first one stipulates that the applicant for the claim must show evidence to the SSA that he/she is disabled permanently or is has a condition that has existed or is forecasted to go on for more than a full year. Due to this timeframe, it is necessary for applicants to carefully store, update, and arrange their medical details, documents, and other paperwork to avoid any confusion about the severity of the disability.
Also, the SSA will try to determine if the condition of the claimant is severe enough to prevent the person from carrying out any significant gainful tasks. Such a condition must be one that obstructs the performance of the applicant’s official responsibilities at his former place of work; It should also be the type that removes the possibility of getting another job as a result of education, age or incapacitation.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The federal government has two programs which offer support to people with disabilities, and SSDI is one of them. SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is financially supported by the Social Security Tax Fund. Thus, eligible disabled individuals according to the above guidelines must possess enough work credits to be entitled to receive payments. Technically, a person must have been settling all social security taxes on their earnings for a significantly long period to be eligible for benefits. This means that applicants must possess a slightly consistent employment history and have been employed for at least half of the decade before the beginning of disability.
Younger claimants may have a lower requirements for work credits because the work credits of parents can cover claimants below 22 years of age.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
For need-associated SSI (Supplemental Security and Income), work requirements do not apply due to the funding of the initiative via general tax revenues rather than the Social Security tax. To be eligible for SSI, an applicant must be above 65 years of age, legally blind or disabled, and possess assets whose worth is lower than $3000. According to the SSA, assets refer to earnings or income (such as pensions, wages, and other benefits project) and resources like real estate, cash savings and stock holdings. Applicants who fulfill these requirements may qualify for payment from SSI irrespective of prior work history.
Why Denials Occur
The constant rise in the number of claims for Social Security Disability benefits has resulted in a 60% increase in denial rates at the first stage. If we are to consider the first stage of appeal or the re-examination phase, the figure rises to 80%.
The primary causes of denial are:
1) Failure of the applicant to convince the officials about the extent of a disability because of inadequate medical records or other required documents.
2) Unsatisfactory work history to fulfill the requirements for work credits as established by SSA.
3) Lack of familiarity with the process for Social Security Appeals which leads to ignorance of the right steps to fight for their claims when they are denied.
To prevent such issues, it will be wise for claim applicants to continue getting medical treatments and make sure all records are not only organized but also intact. The expertise of a Social Security lawyer/attorney may be useful even in a case as common as initial stage denial.
How Retirement affects Disability Benefits
SSA runs three benefits programs named the SSDI, SSI and the Social Security Retirement. Many individuals on the payroll of SSDI or SSI face uncertainty about the result of their disability payments after retirement.
For the SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), which is financed by the Social Security Tax, a part or your entire monthly payment may be converted and paid as retirement benefit when you attain retirement age. However, the total of your benefits should be constant. Promptly inform the SSA if you get a higher (above normal) payment because you will bear the burden of refunding any excess amount you mistakenly receive.
For SSI (Supplemental Security Income), you may be allowed to retain a portion of or all your monthly benefits. However, it all depends on how much you receive in retirement benefits. In a situation where your retirement benefit raises your monthly earnings, a part or the entirety of your need-associated SSI payment may be diminished.
Are you eligible?
If you think you meet the above eligibility requirement for SSDI or SSI, feel free to reach out to a financial professional for assistance.