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What Is Social Security Disability Benefits

What Is Back Pay

4. What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

Qualified Social Security disability applicants may also be able to receive a lump sum cash payment. This is called back pay. For many claimants, it covers the mandatory minimum 3-5 month waiting period required to review and then approve your claim. However, eligible applicants may receive back pay going back to the initial date your doctor diagnosed your disability. This lump-sum back payment could cover several months or even years before you submit your application for SSD benefits.

Qualifying For Retirement Benefits

Retirement benefits, like SSI and SSDI, are a type of monthly payment paid to eligible Americans by the SSA. Once you have amassed enough work credits, paid into Social Security through federal taxes, and reached age 62, you can begin collecting retirement benefits. The amount of your monthly benefit depends on how much you worked, how much money you made, and whether you decide to keep working past the age of 62.

If you wait until your full retirement age , your monthly benefit will increase. And, if you are able to and decide to keep working until you are 70 years old, you can maximize your monthly retirement benefits. Once you begin receiving retirement benefits, you will continue to receive them for the rest of your life.

What Disqualifies A Person From Disability

You Earn Too Much Income For SSDI, which is the benefit program for workers who have paid into the Social Security system over multiple years, one of the most basic reasons you could be denied benefits is that, when you apply, you are working above the limit where it is considered “substantial gainful activity” .

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Can I Receive Both Disability And Retirement Benefits From Social Security

In most cases, the answer is no. The benefits you receive through Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, are the same amount that you would receive in regular Social Security benefits at your full retirement age. When you reach this milestone, the Social Security Administration will convert your current disability benefits into retirement benefits. For most people, the amount received in benefits will not change because of this conversion.

Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer

Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance are disability income benefits administered by the Social Security Administration that also provide Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance to individuals who are eligible. The application process for SSI/SSDI is complicated and difficult to navigate. Nationally, about 37 percent of individuals who apply for these benefits are approved on initial application and appeals take an average of two years to complete.

For people who are homeless or who are returning to the community from institutions , access to these programs can be extremely challenging. Approval on initial application for people who are homeless and who have no one to assist them is about 10-15 percent. For those who have a mental illness, substance use issues, or co-occurring disorders that impair cognition, the application process is even more difficult yet accessing these benefits is often a critical first step in recovery.

Critical components of SOAR include:

  • Serving as the applicants representative
  • Collecting medical records
  • Writing a medical Summary Report
  • Conducting quality review
  • Please contact a regional coordinator below to find your nearest SOAR Specialist:
Ashley Blum

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An Exception To The Rule

While most people will see little or no difference in the amount of monthly payment they receive after their disability benefits convert to retirement benefits, there is one important exception. If you are currently receiving worker’s compensation or public disability benefits from a federal job, you may not have paid Social Security taxes for these benefits. As a result, your SSDI payment may be reduced to account for these additional funds.

When your SSDI benefits convert to regular Social Security retirement benefits, your payments will no longer be reduced. In these instances, you may see a small to significant increase in the amount of your monthly benefits when you officially transition from disability to retirement benefits from the SSA.

What Is The Hardest State To Get Disability

Oklahoma is the hardest state to get for Social Security disability. This state has an SSDI approval rate of only 33.4% in 2020 and also had the worst approval rate in 2019 with 34.6% of SSDI applications approved. Alaska had the second-worst approval rate, with 35.3% of applications approved in 2020 and 36.2% in 2019.

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You May Qualify For Legal Assistance

When it comes to applying for Social Security disability, you dont have to go through the claims process alone. Experienced disability attorneys can answer your questions, review your claim paperwork and even file on your behalf with the SSA. Having a lawyer file your claim makes you nearly 3x more likely to win benefits on your first try. Those who qualify for legal assistance through this website typically win $10,000 in lump-sum backpay as well as monthly disability. But those who have attorney representation during the appeals process are far more likely to win monthly benefits.

Worried you cannot afford a lawyer to help with your claim? Dont be! All disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means youll pay nothing unless they help you win benefits. Even then, the government caps how much they can charge you in legal fees after you receive your benefits payment. If qualifying for monthly disability benefits is important to you, talk to a lawyer for free today.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now.

Social Security Disability Benefits Faq

Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security benefits are most commonly used to help retirees cover expenses. But the Social Security Administration also has disability benefits available to those who meet certain strict requirements.

In this context, a disabled person is someone who is medically unable to work for at least a year or has been diagnosed with a medical condition that will result in death. To qualify for disability payments, youll need to have worked for a specified period of time before being declared disabled. A medical provider will also have to certify that your disability exists.

Lets go over some of the most commonly asked questions about Social Security disability benefits.

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Helping You Understand Your Disability Benefits Options

The federal government has a number of disability benefit programs generally grouped under Social Security disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income for certain people who are unable to work full-time due to their disabilities.

At The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC, our attorneys help clients apply for disability benefits.

Below is some general information about the disability benefits that are available through the Social Security system. To discuss whether you are eligible for any benefit programs, contact us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.

If your disability prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration provides monthly benefits to people who meet strict criteria concerning work history and disability level. Because the application and appeals process can be complex, the assistance of an attorney can be enormously helpful. Contact an attorney from The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller in Amherst, New York, for more information.

How Can The Social Security Disability Programs Be Improved To Increase Economic Security And Work Opportunities For Beneficiaries

Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security increase economic security for millions of disabled workers. For beneficiaries whose conditions improve, the programs also provide important incentives and supports for returning to work. Still, the programs could be further strengthened to increase disabled workers economic security and provide a more seamless transition for those who are able to return to work.

Modernize Supplemental Security

The value of Supplemental Security benefits has eroded considerably since the programs inception in 1972, as the programs income exclusions and asset limits have not kept pace with inflation and living standards. The current maximum benefit is equivalent to just three-quarters of the also-outdated federal poverty line for a single person. The general income exclusion and earned income exclusion have never been increased. To address this erosion, H.R. 1601, the Supplemental Security Restoration Act, sponsored by Rep. Raul Grijalva and introduced in Congress in April 2013, would increase the monthly maximum benefit to $937, which is 100 percent of the current federal poverty line, and would increase the general income disregard to $110 per month and the earned income disregard to $357 a month. Increasing the income exclusions and indexing them to inflation going forward would restore the monthly benefit amount to its intended value and significantly increase beneficiaries economic security.

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Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

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No matter how old you are, if you have a medical disability that prevents you from working, you may be able to claim benefits from the Social Security Administration . There are two benefit programs you can apply for:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance : available only to disabled people who’ve already worked for a certain number of years.
  • Supplemental Security Income : available to disabled or elderly people whose incomes and assets are very low.

SSDI is part of the United States’ Social Security program, which is officially known as the “Old Age, Survivors And Disability Insurance Program,” or OASDI. SSI is not. But the benefit from both programs is cash, the amount depending on which program you qualify for.

If You Get Ssdi Benefits And Are In A 24

Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney Glendale
  • You may be able to get Medicaid coverage while you wait. You can apply 2 ways:
  • Create an account or log in to complete an application. Answer yes when asked if you have a disability. Well forward your application to your state Medicaid agency.
  • Apply directly to your state Medicaid agency. Select your state from the menu on this Medicaid page for contact information.
  • If youre eligible for Medicaid, your Medicaid eligibility may continue even after you enroll in Medicare.
  • If youre turned down for Medicaid, you may be able to enroll in a private health plan through the Marketplace while waiting for your Medicare coverage to start. You may qualify for lower costs on Marketplace coverage based on your income and household size.
  • When asked about your income on your Marketplace application, be sure to include your SSDI income.

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    What Happens If The Dac Gets Married

    If the child receives benefits as a DAC, the benefits generally end if they get married. However, some marriages are considered protected.

    The rules vary depending on the situation. Contact a Social Security representative at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the benefits can continue.


    To speed up the application process, complete an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of your appointment.

    What Is Social Security Disability Health Coverage Like

    Once your SSDI claims approved and you receive Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months, you may qualify for Medicare. In most cases, the SSA deducts Medicare medical insurance premiums from your monthly benefits at a deeply discounted rate. To learn more about enrollment, benefits and monthly costs for Social Security disability beneficiaries, see the SSAs Medicare information page.

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    Your Guide To Social Security Disability Video Hearings


    If you are getting ready for a hearing before an administrative law judge, Social Security offers an efficient method using new technologyâvideo hearings. With video hearings, we can make the hearing more convenient for you. Often an appearance by video hearing can be scheduled faster than an in-person appearance.

    How Much Is The Disability Benefit

    SSDI, SSI & Retirement | Social Security Disability Insurance & Supplemental Income | theSITREP

    The disability benefit is linked through a formula to a workers earnings before he or she became disabled. The following figures show how the disability insurance benefits compare to prior earnings for a worker who became eligible for benefits in 2014 at age 55.

    Earnings Before Disability Annual DI Benefit

    *Average indexed earnings

    The average benefit paid to disabled workers in June 2017 was $1,172 a month or about $14,064 a year.

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    How Your Ssdi Payments Are Calculated

    The severity of your disability will not affect the amount of SSDI benefits you receive. The Social Security Administration will determine your payment based on your lifetime average earnings before you became disabled. Your benefit amount will be calculated using your covered earnings. These are your earnings at jobs where your employer took money out of your wages for Social Security or FICA.

    Your SSDI monthly benefit will be based on your average covered earnings over a period of time, which is referred to as your average indexed monthly earnings . The SSA uses these amounts in a formula to determine your primary insurance amount . This is the basic amount used to establish your benefit.

    SSDI payments range on average between $800 and $1,800 per month. The maximum benefit you could receive in 2020 is $3,011 per month. The SSA has an online benefits calculator that you can use to obtain an estimate of your monthly benefits.

    Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits

    The Social Security Disability Program provides long-term protection to individuals who are totally disabled, consistent with Social Security criteria. It is meant to provide benefits only to those individuals with the most serious impairments. Browse this page to learn more about the program and how to apply for benefits.

    Differences in Social Security Disability support

    Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income pay benefits to individuals who are found to be disabled under the law. Title II provides cash benefits for those disabled workers who have contributed to the Social Security Trust Fund and pays benefits to their dependents. Title XVI provides monthly payments to aged, blind, and disabled people with limited income and resources.

    To learn more, click here.

    Disability definition

    For adults, the law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

    A medically determinable impairment is one that is established by medical evidence that consists of signs, symptoms, and medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques.

    To learn more, click here.

    How to file a claim

    It is advisable for you to have the following information available when filing a claim:

    To learn more, click here.

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    How The Ssa Defines Disability

    A crucial part of claiming benefits under either Social Security program is proving that you are severely disabledâthat is, that you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from doing any substantial “gainful activity” and will last at least one year or will cause your death.

    The determination of whether you are disabled leaves a lot of room for argument. The fact that your doctor may have advised you not to work, or that you feel too ill to work, does not necessarily mean that the SSA will agree that you are disabled.

    The SSA evaluates disability for both SSDI and SSI claims using its own medical experts and claims examiners. These decision makers use both a list of physical and mental conditions and evaluations of your “residual functional capacity” to determine whether you are disabled. The listings for many of the qualifying medical conditions are explained on Nolo’s website in the section on specific disabilities.

    The good news is that if you are denied benefits because the SSA says you are not disabled, you have a good chance of winning on appeal. Often you simply need to appear in person at a hearing and show more evidence of your disability. To learn more about appealing Social Security benefit denials, read Nolo’s article Social Security: How to Appeal Denied Claims.

    You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month In SSDI Benefits

    Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work

    The Social Security Disability Benefits Process

    If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.

    We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you qualify for disability benefits. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.

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    How Many People Currently Receive Social Security Disability Benefits And What Is The Value Of The Benefits They Receive

    About 8.8 million workers with disabilities currently receive Disability Insurance. The amount of Disability Insurance benefits that a disabled worker receives is based on his or her earnings before becoming disabled. As Table 1 shows, Disability Insurance benefits typically replace less than half of a disabled workers previous earnings.

    As of March 2013, the average monthly benefit for a disabled worker was about $1,129, with male workers receiving $1,255 per month and female workers receiving $993 per month on average. About 1.9 million children of disabled workers and 160,000 spouses of disabled workers also receive supplemental benefits from Social Securityroughly $300 a month on average.

    For most beneficiaries of Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security, disability benefits make up most or all of their income. For the vast majority of Disability Insurance beneficiariesabout 71 percenthalf or more of their income comes from Disability Insurance. And for nearly half of beneficiaries, 90 percent or more of their income comes from Disability Insurance. Given the modest extent to which benefits replace lost earnings and the limited sources of other income upon which they can depend, people who receive Disability Insurance are rarely able to maintain the same standard of living they had before becoming disabled. Disability Insurance provides a floor, however, that moderates the decline in their living standards.

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