Understanding Social Security Disability: 101

Who Can Benefit from Social Security Disability?

It can be a common misconception that Social Security is only intended for the elderly for the purpose of retirement income. It is true that a lot of Social Security is given to older Americans, however, it is also intended for those who have disabilities, who have a limited income for a variety of reasons, or for families facing hardship.  Currently 58 million Americans claim and receive Social Security benefits on a monthly basis.

Social Security Disability is important to many people across the United States. Unfortunately, 1 out of 4 20-year-old Americans of today will face disability before the age of retirement.

 

Who is Eligible for Social Security Disability?

Despite the high numbers of Americans who will experience disability in the US, it can be difficult to claim and win approval for these benefits. The key to eligibility is in the type of disability from which a person is suffering. Strict guidelines and definitions are provided in order to decide who may receive Social Security for Disability.  The disability must be severe enough that it lasts for over a year or result in death.

How to Claim

In order to claim for Social Security Disability Benefits you will need to ensure that your medical reports adequately support your claim. This is the first and most important piece of evidence for your claim to be successful. It can be worth discussing your claim with a specialist lawyer, who can review your claim and provide their own evaluation.

You’ll be asked to fill out a variety of questionnaires, which can be completed online. From there, you’re likely to face a 5 month waiting period. You will then consequently face a review process. It usually takes around 100 days for your claim to be reviewed and for a decision to be made. If you are turned down, it is possible to make an appeal of the decision. This can typically take over a year until the final verdict is made.

What are SSI benefits?

SSI benefits refer to Supplemental Security Income. Dissimilar to Social Security Disability Benefits, allocated money for SSI originates from general tax revenue rather than from Social Security.

The key difference in eligibility for SSI is that these benefits are means-tested. This means that only certain people can qualify based on a series of financial requirements. This means that low income individuals and families will qualify for SSI. This is also the case for adults and children suffering disability can also qualify, but their eligibility is also means-tested, meaning that they must qualify as disabled, as well as low-income.

On the whole, for an individual to be eligible, their resources must count as less than $2,000. Equally, for a couple the limit it $3,000. In order to value your assets, your means will be tested against your cash, bank accounts and stocks and bonds. Your means will not be tested against your home or car or other insurance.