What Is A Social Security Disability Claim?
A disability claim is a request for income assistance filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A claim is filed when a person believes that a mental or physical disability prevents them from working full-time.
SSA has two disability programs available: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You may file for one or both, depending on your medical and financial history.
An initial claim involves filling out either an SSDI or SSI application. Your application will either be denied or approved by a Social Security claims representative within three to five months. Most applicants are denied during the initial stage.
If denied, you have 60 days to file for reconsideration. Your reconsideration request will once again either be denied or approved by a Social Security claims representative. About 85% of reconsideration cases get denied.
If denied again you can request a hearing, during which you and your representative can present your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If after a hearing an ALJ denies your claim, you may file an appeal with the Social Security Appeals Council. The Council can deny your appeal, send it back to the ALJ for review or decide to award or deny benefits itself.
If you are again denied by the Appeals Council, you may file an appeal with the Federal District Court of Appeals.
What Is The Difference Between SSDI And SSI?
SSDI is available to individuals who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits over the past 10 years. SSI disability benefits are available to low‑income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits in the past 10 years to qualify for SSDI.
SSI is a program that is strictly need‑based, dependent upon income and assets; it is funded by general fund taxes (not from the Social Security trust fund). SSI is called a “means‑tested program,” meaning it has nothing to do with work history, but strictly with financial need. To meet the SSI income requirements, you must have less than $2,000 in assets (or $3,000 for a couple) and a very limited or no income.
Those eligible for SSI are also able to receive Medicaid in the state they reside in, as well as food stamps. The amount an eligible person will receive is dependent on where they live and the amount of regular, monthly income they have. SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month when you first submit your application.
SSDI is funded through payroll taxes. SSDI recipients are considered “insured” because they have worked for a certain number of years and have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA Social Security taxes. SSDI candidates must be younger than 65 and have earned a certain number of “work credits.” After receiving SSDI for two years, a disabled person will become eligible for Medicare.
Under SSDI, a disabled person’s spouse and children dependents are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits, called auxiliary benefits. However, only adults over the age of 18 can receive the SSDI disability benefit.
There is a five‑month waiting period for benefits, meaning that the SSA won’t pay you benefits for the first five months after you become disabled. The amount of the monthly benefit after the waiting period is over depends on your earnings record, much like the Social Security retirement benefit.
For more information on Social Security Disability Claims Throughout the North West, a FREE Initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (503) 868-4748 today.