In today’s challenging economy, suffering a medical disability that prevents you from earning your keep can be disastrous for you and your loved ones. Even under the most controlled environments, workplace-related accidents or illnesses may still occur. To address the resulting loss of income and medical expenses resulting from an illness or injury, the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) implements two disability programs that provide cash benefits to affected workers.
Such assistance is not easily granted, though, because the applicant’s conditions have to satisfy the SSA’s own definition of “disability.” These programs, namely, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), vary in terms of eligibility criteria and compensation amounts.
Given all the complexities involved, most people seek the services of a social security attorney to boost their chances of a successful claim.
SSA Disability Programs
Aside from citing incapacity, you need to prove that you have garnered an adequate number of “work credits” or have been paying SSA taxes for a period of time before the SSDI grants compensation to you and certain members of your family. The length of time you need to qualify for coverage is determined by the age and year you suffered disability. Once you are approved, you could receive payments amounting from $1,000 to $1,200 per month depending on your earnings record.
Meanwhile, assistance from the SSI is based on your income and resources and potentially those in your household. As a single person, your resources cannot exceed $2,000. As a couple, the limit is $3,000. In 2015, if your claim is approved, you can get paid approximately $733 (or $1,100 for if you are a couple) every month, aside from a supplementary payment from the state government. Keep in mind, your income will also affect your SSI payment. The Administration, aside from a few income exclusions, will count ½ of your earned income and all of your unearned income against your SSI payment.
A doctor’s advice to take a few days off work to recover does not guarantee coverage under the SSA. The above programs only provide financial aid to workers who have sustained a severe physical or mental condition that is likely to last for at least a year or result in death and prevents them from carrying out a substantial amount of work. This vague definition leaves a lot of room for dispute.
In reality, most disability claims are denied on the first attempt. Count on experienced social security lawyers, like someone from Jan Dils Attorneys at Law, to leverage their experience and knowledge of the law to your benefit.
Social Security Disability Benefits, Nolo.com
Social Security Disability Attorney & Lawyer Information, Disabilitysecrets.com
Benefits For People With Disabilities, SSA.gov