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Frequently Asked Questions

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SOCIAL SECURITY
DISABILITY
Overview and Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability is a program from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that helps
Americans aged 18 or older with a “medically determinable physical or mental impairment (including
an emotional or learning problem)” to make ends meet.
In addition, this disability must prevent you from being able to perform your current job or similar
work for at least a year.
If you qualify for SSDI, you may begin receiving monthly disability payments five months after your
approval date. The amount of money that you receive each month is dependent upon how much you
contributed through Social Security taxes during your working years and your average lifetime
earnings. It is also important to remember that while receiving SSDI, you can only earn up to $16,920
annually.
If your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal the denial and get back-pay for each day
since you became disabled.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
What Is Supplemental Security Income?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income
(SSI) are two Social Security Administration programs that many American
rely on.
SSI benefits come from the general tax revenue and individuals on the program
are not required to have contributed income during their working years. If you
have never worked or did not work full-time for 5 of the last 10 years, you may
qualify for SSI but not SSDI.
To qualify for SSI, you must fall under at least ONE OR MORE of the following
categories:
Currently 65 or older
Blind
Disabled
If none of these three qualities applies to you, then you are not eligible for SSI
benefits
SSI benefits cover necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter specifically for
households with limited income and resources. Children under 18 with certain
mental or physical impairments may also be able to receive SSI benefits.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Social Security Work Credits
40 Social Security work credits are enough to qualify for any SSA benefit, provided you meet all other requirements
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Social Security Disability Eligibility Process
The SSA uses a five step process to determine SSDI eligibility:
Are You Working?
Is your medical
condition “severe?”
Is your medical
condition on the
Compassionate
Allowance List
(CAL)?
Can you do the
work you did
before?
Can you do any
other type of work?
Changes in health,
such as declining
health or improving
conditions, may
impact SSDI
benefits.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Top Social Security Disability Application Mistakes
Applying for benefits while
still able to work or currently
employed
Applying for benefits before
confirmation from a doctor
that you will be out of work for
one year or longer
Expecting the exam doctor to
find enough evidence to prove
that you are disabled
Not getting help filing your
claim unless you have been
diagnosed with a condition on
the CAL list
Missing doctor visits,
counseling sessions, medical
treatments or prescription
drugs, needed to treat your
disability.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Additional Disability Claim Factors
SSDI
Claim
Compassionate
Allowances
(CAL)
Invisible
Disabilities
Temporary
Disabilities
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Qualifying Conditions
Compassionate Allowances (CAL)
If you suffer from one of the 225 qualifying conditions for SSDI on the CAL list, you may be
able to receive your disability benefits in a matter of days. Visit
https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowance/conditions.htm for a complete listing.
Invisible Disabilities
The most common approved SSDI benefits are:
Fibromyalgia
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
Depression
MS
Autism
Cancer survivors often fall under this category
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Temporary Disability
You cannot qualify for disability until you have been out
of work for at least 5 months, so in most cases, that will
be covered under Workers’ Compensation or short-term
disability insurance offered by your employer
SSDI only covers people who cannot work for a full 12
months or longer.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?
Yes ~ However, most do not
pay taxes on SSDI because
they have very little, if any,
additional income.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Initial Application Timeline
The process for determining a claim varies greatly
and there is no time limit set on when decisions
should be made. It largely depends on:
How much information the SSA needs to
collect, such as income, medical reports, etc.
How long it takes to collect the above
information and
How many claims SSA is currently processing
Note: Utilizing a SSDI representative will help
you to gather the necessary information needed
by the SSA ~ often resulting in a shorter wait time.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Appealing Your Claim
Request for Reconsideration
Regardless of whether your initial claim was denied or your SSDI benefits were stopped by the SSA, you have 60 days to dispute the
decision and file an appeal
Request an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing
ALJs grant benefits about 57% of claims decisions. To appeal a decision, visit a disability hearing officer in your area and request a
reconsideration within 60 days
Request Appeals Council Review
The Appeal Council randomly selects cases for review, your case may not be get chosen. If chosen, they have the power to grant, deny or
dismiss your request for benefits
Request a Federal Court Review
Federal judges mainly look for legal errors in your application and review process.
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Approved! What Happens Next
You typically begin receiving monthly disability payments within
five months after your approval date.
The amount of money that you receive each month is dependent
on your lifetime earnings.
After approval, you must wait 24 months before you will be
automatically enrolled into Medicare Part A (hospital insurance)
and Part B (health insurance)
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Benefits Of Representation By An Advocate
Social Security Representatives (Advocates) know the ins and outs of the process and will work to get you approved faster and
maximize your potential payments. A few of the benefits of representation
Ensure nothing is missed in your application
Help you to provide your most current medical information
Provide advice about witness testimony
Assist in how to answer questions correctly during your hearing
Cross-examine those testifying in your hearing
Navigate you through the appeals process
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Situations That May Change Your Ability To Receive Benefits
Common situations that may impact your monthly benefits
Your health improves and you are able to work again
Change in marital status (marry, divorce or become widowed)
Change in spouses income
Turning 65, your SSDI will become regular Social Security retirement benefits
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com
Still Have Questions?
Contact me today for a FREE consultation!
Lisa Homan
Social Security Disability Representative
lisa.homan@veterandisabilityadvocate.com
http://www.veterandisabilityadvocate.com