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What you should know prior to applying for Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is a federal insurance program. This program is managed by the Social Security Administration and is designed to provide monthly benefits to individuals who have a medically determinable impairment that affects that individual’s ability to maintain substantially gainful employment.

The definition of disability set out by the Social Security Administration is the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable impairment, physical or mental (or combination of impairments), which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 continuous months”.

There are two different programs of Social Security for which you can apply: SSDI and SSI.

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance is a federal program that provides benefits to someone who has worked but is now unable to work because of a medically determinable impairment that is physical or mental. When filing for this program you must have worked long enough and earned enough during that time to qualify for benefits. You also must have paid Social Security taxes through your income also known as F.I.C.A on paystubs which contributes to SSDI.

Do you qualify for SSDI?

SSI: Supplemental Security Income is a federal benefit program that provides financial support to disabled individuals who have limited income and resources. The income or resources that will be evaluated by the Social Security Administration is money earned from work, money received from non-work to include other federal programs, workers’ compensation, money from friends and family, and resources given for free like food and shelter.

Do you qualify for SSI?

Navigating through the Social Security Disability process is not an easy task. Social Security has strict standards for who can receive disability benefits. Studies show that applicants filing with representation are more likely to receive benefits. Our team at ELG Disability is knowledgeable with years of experience in disability law and are here to help you in your claim(s) for SSDI and/or SSI. Give our office a call today to schedule your free consultation with our team.

Social Security Disability Frequently Asked Questions

In 2023, the maximum SSDI payment is $3,627 per month with the average monthly payment being $1,483. The maximum SSI payment in 2023 is $914 for single individuals and for married couples it is $1,371. Although, some people may receive less depending on their and/or their spouse’s income and resources.

Yes, if you are approved for SSDI benefits you will automatically become eligible for Medicare coverage two years after the first month you are found disabled. However, this does not mean if you are approved for SSDI you must wait two years to get your Medicare coverage. The two-year Medicare waiting period is generally calculated from the date SSA found you became disabled plus the five-month SSDI waiting period.

Yes. Many individuals are eligible for benefits under both SSDI and SSI programs at the same time. These types of claims are called “concurrent” claims.

When determining if you should file for Social Security Disability benefits you want to make sure that you understand how complicated it can be and that the government wants to ensure people receive benefits who are truly deserving of them. Once you have determined that you need to file for disability benefits, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration to begin filing your initial application. You can do this by either hiring an attorney representative who specializes in Social Security Disability law, contacting your local Social Security Office directly, or visiting their website and applying online.

Having a representative like ELG Disability to help guide you through this process will help you fully understand the complexities of the Social Security Disability process. A disability attorney has experience with the rules and regulations, can help obtain medical records and/or additional information to support your claim, and can assist in filing any appeals, if need.

Typically, it takes around 4-6 months to receive a decision from the Social Security Administration regarding your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits. Sometimes it can take longer than 4-6 months. This timeframe depends on the processing times of your local Social Security office and is also dependent on how long it takes you to respond to their correspondence and/or how long it takes for your medical providers to send your medical records to Social Security.