According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), 25% of 20-year-old workers will become disabled before reaching full retirement age. This statistic is alarming.
Fortunately, the SSA offers Social Security Disability (SSD). These regular monthly payments are benefits for disabled people who qualify. Recipients of SSD have qualified by applying to one of two programs. In some cases, applicants qualify for both programs.
The SSD programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Applying For Social Security Disability
The SSA requires that all disabled applicants meet the same standard definition for disability. A qualifying disability must be a total disability. The SSA does not award benefits for short-term or partial disabilities. A claimant’s disability must also prevent any substantial work capacity. This is called substantial gainful activity (SGA).
Determining A Qualifying Disability
The SSA defines SGA based on monthly earning limits. This threshold is just one criterion used to determine if an applicant is disabled. The monthly SGA amount for blind individuals in 2019 is $2040 per month. Non-blind applicants in 2019 can earn as much as $1220 monthly.
If an applicant exceeds the applicable limit, the SSA determines that applicant ‘not disabled.’
In addition to the work requirements of SGA, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also imposes limits on the duration and severity of the disability. The disability must either (1) have lasted for at least 12 months, or (2) be expected to last for at least 12 months.
A disability expected to lead to death may also qualify.
The disability must also be “medically determinable.” This means that it is determined by the medical professional(s) to be an actual condition. “Anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormalities” must be shown through accepted medical techniques.
If you believe that you are eligible, you need to act.The SSA provides many ways for disabled people to apply. You can choose to apply online or in-person. If you go in-person, it is best to set up an appointment.
If you show up without an appointment, you may have to wait.
Completing The Disability Application
If you are applying for social security disability (SSD), you are not alone. Not only are many people applying, but many people are re-applying. Moreover, many people are applying at their own convenience. This is why the online application is so popular.
However, the criteria for online applications differ between the SSA’s disability programs. The SSDI and SSI programs have varying requirements. The SSI criteria are more stringent and require that you are unmarried and non-blind, in addition to other requirements.
When you apply to either program, you must first access the online “Checklist for Online Adult Disability Application.” You will need to provide substantial information about yourself, your family and your loved ones. This information will be personal, medical and work-related.
It’s a good idea to physically collect certain documentation so that you can complete the application accurately and completely. You may need your credit card, W-2, and tax forms. Be sure you have your social security card and information. Also be sure you know everything about your medical condition(s).
You can also apply in-person or by phone. If you go in-person, you can visit your local Social Security office. You can find that location through the SSA website.
If you need any help, contact a good lawyer. The process is complicated. Don’t have your initial application delayed or denied because of something avoidable. Maximize your chances of approval. Consult The Law Firm of O’Brien & Feiler today.