Social Security disability coverage provides a crucial source of income for some of the most disabled individuals in the country. Unlike benefits for retirees, disability benefits go towards supporting individuals regardless of their age, so long as they meet the strict requirements set up by the Social Security Administration.
Individuals seeking Social Security for disabilities must go through an application process. The Social Security Administration will then decide whether the individual qualifies to receive benefits. If the individual is rejected, an appeals process exists in which the denied individual may challenge the decision.
Who qualifies for Social Security Disability Coverage?
In order to qualify for Social Security disability coverage, and individual must meet the definition for disabled under the Social Security Act (SSA). Under the act, a person is disabled if they:
- Have a severe medical condition
- The medical condition is expected to continue for at least one year, or lead to the individual’s death
- The individual cannot do the work they did before because of their condition
- The individual cannot adjust to a new type of work as a result of their condition
How much money do individuals on disability collect?
The average payment for a person on Social Security disability was $1,165 a month in 2015 according to the Social Security Administration. This amounts to just $13,980 dollars a year.
How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits?
You can apply for disability benefits online, by phone or at a Social Security office. You will need to have information about yourself, your family, your previous employment, your medical condition, past settlements or workers’ compensation claims, and certain original documents such as your birth certificate.
What happens after I apply?
After you complete your application, the Social Security Administration will process it, and might contact you if they need additional documents or information, or if you might be able to seek benefits from a spouse, or use the coverage you get in order to care for family members. Once they have completed your application, they will contact you with a decision on whether you qualify for disability.
What happens if I am denied disability coverage, but I think I should have been approved?
If you are denied coverage, you may file an appeal. This can be done online, or at your Social Security office, you can also call to get the necessary forms. The appeal usually takes a few weeks or more to be processed.
If you are still denied benefits following the initial appeal, you may take your claim to a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If this is not successful, you can file an appeal with the federal court.
Once you reach the ALJ stage of the process things can get more difficult and take much more time. While many claimants do not seek representation for the first appeal filed directly to the Social Security Administration, once the claim goes in front of an ALJ, the vast majority of claimants seek out the assistance of an attorney or other representative. Seeking help even with the initial appeal might be a prudent decision, and claimants assisted by experienced disability attorneys statistically have much higher rates of success in being approved for benefits at the ALJ level.
What if I am on Social Security for a disability, but I would like to try going back to work?
If you are receiving Social Security for disabilities, but think you might be ready to return to work, you might be afraid of losing your benefits. Perhaps you are not sure whether you will actually be able to work, but would like to give it a try, or think you might be able to go back, but are afraid that it will cause you to lose your health care. In these cases the Social Security Administration has a program called “Ticket to Work.” This program can allow you to continue health benefits, and possibly continue receiving cash while you go back to work. The program can provide protection for you if you find that your disability prevents you from working again.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC for A Free Consultation
At Stern Law, PLLC, we have compassionate and caring attorneys ready to work with you on your disability related legal matters. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 for a free consolation with an experienced disability attorney.