Learn the basics of social security disability benefits, the difference between social security disability and supplemental security income and the eligibility requirements. We also show you how to apply for SSD and relate how the benefits are calculated.
Learn more at: https://www.colvin-law.com/social-security-disability/
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
What are SSDI benefits, and what
can you expect when applying?
PART OF OUR HISTORY
A way to provide financial assistance to disabled citizens
was first devised in the 1930s and became law in 1956.
These benefits have provided assistance to those who most
need it and have been an integral part of defining how we
treat Americans who struggle to get by. The program is
vital for so many of our citizens - it is estimated that a
quarter of the people currently age 20 will have some form
of disability before the age of 67.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
SSDI AND SSI?
Both Social Security disability (SSDI) and Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) require a disability, but benefits are
calculated differently for the two programs. SSI is a federal
welfare program. That means that there is a limit on the
amount of “assets” you may have in order to qualify for
payment. The monthly amount of SSI benefits depends on
your income from all sources, including any other benefits
SSDI, on the other hand, is much like an insurance
program. You are eligible for SSDI benefits because you are
disabled and because you paid Social Security taxes over
the course of your working career.
MORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
SSDI AND SSI
There are also differences in the
way the two programs are
administered. The non-medical
rules to receive SSI benefits are
normally administered and
processed at your local Social
Security office. SSDI benefits
are typically processed in
Baltimore, Maryland, while
benefits of those people who
are over age 55 are processed in
regional payment centers.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SSDI?
A disability is defined as a physical or
mental impairment that prevents a
person from “substantial gainful
activity” and lasts at least 12
continuous months or results in
death. Conditions that could make a
claimant eligible for benefits include:
• Cystic Fibrosis
• Certain Mental Disorders
• Cognitive Disabilities
SSDI APPLICATION PROCESS
Applying for SSDI can be difficult. Applicants must prove
their disability and often have to go through a series of
appeals before they are given benefits. In fact, from 2001 to
2010, the Social Security Administration denied over 70
percent of initial applications. However, by preparing the
proper documentation beforehand, you will increase your
chances of being approved.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR SSD
Applicants might be asked for a
number of documents when applying
for disability benefits, including:
• Pay stubs
• Medical records
• Tax forms
• Military discharge papers
• Birth certificate
• A former spouse’s death certificate
• Proof of other types of benefits
HOW ARE BENEFITS CALCULATED?
The Social Security Administration uses a number of factors to
determine payments to a claimant.
• Work Credits - Work credits are earned while you are working and
are calculated based on your yearly earnings. Workers earn one
credit for each year they earn at least $1,260 and can earn up to four
credits if they made $5,040 or more.
• Calculating Benefits - The SSA has a formula they use to calculate
your monthly earnings in order to arrive at your Primary Insurance
Amount, which is then used to determine your payment. It is a
complicated process, but most SSDI beneficiaries receive between
$700 and $1,000 a month.
• Benefit Reductions - Payments may be reduced based on other
benefits a claimant receives, including Workers’ Compensation,
retirement benefits, or disability payments from another federal
program, or a state or labor union plan.
DENIALS AND APPEALS
The Social Security Administration will deny seven out of 10 initial applications.
Yet, 45 percent of overall claims are approved. In other words, denials should be
considered part of the process. The appeal process generally includes:
• Reconsideration - A board will review your claim to determine whether it
should be reconsidered. You don’t have to be present for reconsideration.
• Hearing - When a claimant disagrees with a denial, they can request a
hearing. A judge will review the claim and call any relevant experts or
witnesses. You are not required to attend a hearing unless the judge orders
your presence. In a hearing, your attorney can cross-examine witnesses, which
can help your claim.
• Appeal - If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you can appeal to the Social
Security Appeals Council, which may or may not review your claim.
• Federal action - If a council denies your claim or chooses not to review it,
you can file a lawsuit in federal court. This is the last stage of the appeal
process, and it is very difficult to achieve a favorable decision at this level.
HOW AN SSD ATTORNEY CAN HELP
As you can see, obtaining disability
benefits can be a difficult,
complicated process. It’s for this
reason that a Social Security
Disability attorney is invaluable for
applicants. Your attorney will help
you prepare your initial claim to
maximize your chances for approval.
They can also help guide you through
the appeals process to make sure that
your claim has the best possible
chance of being approved. Applying
for benefits without the assistance of
an attorney makes things very
FILING FOR SSDI BENEFITS?
If you or a loved one is considering filing for Social Security Disability benefits, John R.
Colvin can help. We have helped many clients receive benefits due to a disability, and we
can assist you throughout every stage of the process, from application to appeal.
Contact us today to learn more.
HOW WE HAVE HELPED OUR
“After being denied Disability 3 separate times, I thought my case was
hopeless. It was also at a time when I was still battling my pancreatic
illness, so I did not feel that I had the physical strength to appeal once
again. Another local Attorney turned down representing me, because
he did not think that we had a shot to win. A friend recommended
that I speak to Atty Colvin before I give up completely… Atty Colvin
won my case, and I am forever grateful. I received 2 checks in the mail
and these covered about 75% of the medical bills that I had accrued
during my illness. I am so glad that I did not give up, and I will be
forever grateful for meeting Atty Colvin and having him as my Atty.
My family and I proudly recommend Atty Colvin to everyone. Please
take my word that this man will fight for you when you don’t
have the strength to fight for yourself.” – Client
MORE FROM OUR CLIENTS
“I’m a disabled veteran and was denied my claim for Social
Security. I sought the aid of Mr. Colvin as referred to by
someone who obtained his assistance previously. Mr. Colvin
handled my case with such expertise! He kept me informed
and updated. I submitted all documentation he requested. He
followed up on my health while awaiting my hearing. I’ve
heard the nightmares of being denied and “fighting” to get
your deserved benefits! However, this was NOT the case for
me!, because of the professionalism, knowledge of this area
and his unwavering support for me! I was completely
petrified, the day of my hearing and he comforted me and
calmed me. The Judge agreed with the VA rating and declared
me disabled. With Mr. Colvin’s thoroughness in preparation
of my case, made the process So less stressful for me!” - LD
MORE FROM OUR CLIENTS
“In 2011, I found myself without a job and my old injuries, not to
mention my age, kept me from being able to find a job in the field I
was trained for. I had already been turned down twice from Social
Security for disability. Several of my friends told me that John Colvin
would be the best attorney to use in filing an appeal. I must say that
this entire process was not as painful as I thought it would be. In the
consultation, he listened carefully to my story and when I finished he
said that he would take my case. He explained everything that would
happen in words that I could understand. He was there when I had
questions and he took all the time that I needed. His assistant was
always very pleasant to work with and did not hesitate to contact me
as soon as my decision came through. I would recommend no one else
but John Colvin in a disability case!” – Gayla