How do I get benefits for my disability?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an integral part the United States social safety
system. It provides monthly monetary benefits to people who are disabled by a medical condition
that affects their ability to work. In general, there are two categories of disability – physical and
mental. Each type of disability will have different eligibility requirements. Below are details on
Social Security Disability Insurance.
Social security offers disability benefits to anyone with a disability or disabling medical condition.
Some disabilities are not covered by Social Security. Social Security provides benefits to the full
extent of the disabling condition or disability, regardless of whether the individual has recovered
from his or her impairment or is in a state of full recovery. The following benefits are included:
- Maximum monthly benefit amount for life. This is the monthly benefit amount that has been
paid after the disability period. Social Security uses the actual disability amount, minus monthly
expenses to calculate lifetime maximum monthly benefits. The disability test is done for each
month that the disability benefits are received.
- Gross monthly disability benefits. This is the amount of monthly expenses that are most likely
to be necessary to maintain the standard of living expected to be attained in a majority (or more)
of the normal jobs. The disabled test requires that the person be completely unable to perform
basic activities and that they require assistance with at least one of these activities. Social
Security applies a sliding scale formula to determine the disability maximum. Social Security will
reduce the benefit amount if the applicant proves that he or her has a severe and prolonged
- Social Security retirement benefits. Social security retirement benefits are not like disability
benefits in that they do not require a hearing process. Social security retirement benefits will be
scheduled for retirement based upon the applicant’s final payment amount. Accordingly, certain
people receive more retirement benefits that others, depending on the amount of their final
payments and how long they have received benefits.
- Early retirement benefits. Some disability insurance programs offer early retirement benefits for
applicants who have reached their final benefit age, but are not yet retired. This is commonly
called an “early retirement incentive”. The person will receive early retirement benefits within two
years of reaching retirement age. After that, the entire payment of Social Security taxes must be
- Medicare supplement. Some disability insurance plans include coverage for Medicare
Supplement. This pays benefits after five years from the date of onset. Depending on the plan,
the supplement benefits may also be paid automatically as a result of having reached the fivemonth waiting period.
To determine whether you are eligible, you will need personal information, including your date of
birth, social security number, and other pertinent information. You can have a disability lawyer
help you determine which types of disability benefits are available to you based upon your
earnings and other factors. They can help you with the application process and determine how
much you might be eligible for depending on your disability.
The federal government guarantees some benefits, while others are not. Medicare covers the
full benefit of your Medicare benefits, but not the partial benefits. For example, Medicare Part B
covers some of your out-of-pocket expenses, while the Medicare supplement portion does not.
Either of these options does not guarantee disability benefits based solely on earnings. Full
benefits are dependent on earning ability, while part benefits are dependent on the earnings
level of the person before becoming disabled. You can get help from disability lawyers to
understand the differences.
Another type allows disabled individuals to start receiving benefits right away, while others must
wait for the mandatory waiting period. The definition of “immediate” varies by agency. Some
agencies allow beneficiaries the right to receive benefits immediately while others require that
the person be in waiting for at least six months. This can make receiving benefits difficult
because it is difficult to know if you are truly disabled.
If you are awarded benefits and are not living in extreme hardship as defined under the original
Social Security Administration’s guidelines, you do not have to pay back the entire amount. You
must wait for your benefits to start five months after you receive the decision. After the fivemonth waiting period has passed, you can apply for disability benefits. You can also add the
child to your policy. Or, you can claim an extra dependent