When you’re in need of aid, it’s important that you seek it. Social security is a wonderful resource that helps many keep up with their cost of living requirements while temporarily or continually disadvantaged.
Any taxpayer is, by definition, entitled to rely on the system when they need it. This is true for citizens who have an injury, illness or harmful life event translates to a temporary or long-term disability. In this case, you should look into applying for Social Security Disability Insurance.
What Is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly cash benefit given to those unable to work due to a long term disability lasting over one year. Note that it is not to be confused with State Disability Insurance (SDI). SSDI is a federal cash benefit, while SDI is a California state benefit.
The difference between them is that SSDI is for those impeded by long-term disabilities expected to prevent employment for over a year or until the end of life. Comparatively, State Disability Insurance is aimed at those with only one year or less of expected inability to work due to disability. However, those currently enrolled for SDI can eventually transition to SSDI support should needs change.
Who Is Eligible for SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance as a Medicare-associated federal program is for those under 65 who have worked, paid taxes, and now need to rely on a federally given monthly cash payment. There are two major requirements you need to qualify for in order to be considered for this:
You need to prove prior working history and tax contributions. SSA will determine if you’ve worked long enough up to that point. SSDI is an insurance program meaning that you needn’t have to prove financial hardship to qualify.
The Social Security Administration must verify that you are disabled, as evidenced by the medical reports assigned by your physician.
Without these two basic necessities, you may not qualify for SSDI. However, if you are under the age of 19, it could be that your familial tax contributions can qualify for child benefits instead. Additionally, you may also apply if a spouse qualifies or had qualified for SSDI through a prior verified arrangement.
SSA will be sure to assess your means, the severity of your illness, verify your medical records and use your prior working history to come to a decision. They take each and every case on its individual merit.
How Can I Apply?
If diagnosed with a disability that leaves you unable to work, it’s important to file for SSDI as soon as you can. Doing so will help with the validity of your application. You can apply online via the Social Security Administration’s website, or call via their toll-free number 1-800-772-1213. Those with hearing difficulties may also call through TTY 1-800-325-0778.
Remember to hold proof of your social security number and age. You will also need to give your name, address, your physician’s contact information, and information relating to your recent hospital visits or healthcare appointments.
You will need to list the medication you may be taking as well as give proof of medical records. Not only that, but holding a comprehensive list of your employment history as well as contact information will be important, and this includes a W-2 or copy of your prior tax returns.
What Additional Benefits Are There?
Those receiving SSDI payments for over two years can be eligible for Medicare, usually being enrolled in the program automatically. This entitles you to the insurance you need, which can be a true relief for those seeking long term care.
Perhaps the most positive outcome of those relying on SSDI is for them to heal and once again become eligible for employment, you can attempt to return to work without losing your payments. This is provided you earn less than a defined amount, usually less than $1,220, although this number does fluctuate over the years. This provides a necessary transition period for those hoping to get back on their feet. Although, be aware, that any attempt to work can also demonstrate that you are no longer disabled. Thus, any decision to attempt to return to work must be very carefully considered.
Getting Help from a Social Security Attorney
Additionally, it is important to know that when making your application you are able to provide and verify all qualifying materials. Legal counsel from a social security attorney can help assist you with filing an application, especially if your claim is denied and you need help preparing an appeal.
If you need assistance filing for SSDI or have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, call the Law Offices of William M. Kuntz.