Did you get injured and need money to pay for your medications or operation? Are you unsure about how you can get your Social Security disability benefits? This guide will tell you about the Social Security disability benefits and more.
You may know about the benefits one can get from the Social Security disability program. If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you can apply for this program. Keep reading to learn more about it and what you need for an application.
1. What Is Social Security Income?
In the US, 12% of retirees aged 65 and older get 90% of their income from Social Security. The money they’re getting from Social Security is what you call their Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They receive it from the Social Security Administration (SSA) per month.
Even if you haven’t reached 65 years old, you can still apply for SSI. The other requirements you need to receive an SSI is if you have blindness and/or disabilities. Another key condition is if you have low income and few resources.
This is to ensure that only the people who need financial aid the most gets it. For this guide, we will focus on Social Security disability insurance only. Below, we’ll discuss the benefits you can receive if you’re eligible for the program.
2. Benefits of the Social Security Disability Insurance
If you apply and get approved for the program, the benefits will replace 40% of the average worker’s income. Depending on lifestyle, you can live off of the Social Security disability benefits. If you can’t receive the benefits, family members can receive these benefits instead. This is most common for disabled children who have to reach the age of majority yet.
Another benefit to expect from the program is that you can hire an attorney to help with and oversee your case. This is for people who applied, got denied, and remain unable to find work. If the lawyer brings our case to federal court and wins, the SSA will take care of the lawyer’s fees.
As a note, you must always verify that the person you hire to help with your case is a lawyer. If the person you hire isn’t an actual attorney, the SSA won’t pay any fees for you. Always verify that the person you’re planning to hire is a Social Security disability attorney.
Don’t know of any lawyers in your area? Like with many things that you have yet to learn, the internet is your best friend. Before you search for a “Social Security disability lawyer near me,” try this Social Security disability legal aid page first.
3. How Does the Disability Insurance Program Work?
You know the benefits, but how does the program work? If you have work, your tax payments will cover disability insurance fees. Social Security will collect approximately 6.2% of your income.
For 2020, the average benefit of a disabled worker is about $1258 per month. Each year, the amount will adjust to inflation. Yet, some factors won’t impact the benefit, like a change in your expenses.
Also, employers pay 6.3% of employee wages into Social Security. The money that’s collected through this process will fund the disability program. If you become disabled and can’t work, you can apply for disability benefit payments.
4. Who Can Apply to Enter the Social Security Disability Insurance Program?
Before you apply for the disability program of the SSA, you need to know what you can’t do. Make a list of the things that you can’t do as a result of your disability. Don’t focus on the fact that someone won’t hire you. Instead, focus on the work that you can and can’t do.
If you can perform other types of work, you may not be eligible for the program. For example, a woodcarver can lose his hands. If that person can still perform other types of work or if the injury isn’t severe, then you may not get Social Security disability benefits.
You also need to have worked long enough at a job in which you paid Social Security taxes. There is no specified period. The key factors include your age at the time of filing and the work credits you received through the system.
5. Requirements to Apply for the Social Security Disability Program
If you fit the descriptions, we mentioned above. You can apply for the program. When you do, make sure you have the correct requirements. We already mentioned some of those requirements above.
That includes lacking the ability to do any type of work, having a severe condition, and total disability. Some special situations can exempt people who don’t have a total disability. You can get exempted if you are:
- Blind or have low vision
- The widow/widower of the worker
- A disabled child
- A wounded warrior or veteran
You can read more about the specifics of these exemptions on the SSA’s website.
There are also specific requirements for your health for you to be eligible. You must have a medical condition that continued or will continue for at least a year. If the result of the condition is death, you can also qualify.
6. How to Apply for a Social Security Disability Insurance
Before you apply, prepare the following documents:
- W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns
- Birth certificate
- The detailed adult disability report
- Medical evidence (doctor’s reports, test results, others)
- Data on workers’ compensation and other benefits
You can go online or call Social Security services to apply. Make sure you schedule an hour of your time if you opt for an in-person or phone interview. Answer the questions they ask you and follow instructions.
Afterward, it’s a matter of waiting to get approval. If you get denied, ask what you can do to get your case re-evaluated. Be patient with the whole process.
Read this also: Reasons Why Bail Can Be Denied
Claim Your Social Security Disability Benefits
That ends our guide on how you can claim your Social Security disability benefits. We hope you found this short how-to guide informative and useful. We also hope you now have a clearer idea about how you can get the benefits that you deserve.
Do you think you’re eligible for different benefits from the SSA? Do you want to know more about the other benefits you can get from Social Security? If you want to get more info about the other benefits and programs of Social Security, check out our other posts.