Social Security Disability

When should I apply for Social Security Disability (SSD)?

SSD is for people with health problems that prevent them from working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires the health problem keep you off work for at least 12 months or if death is expected. The process for qualifying for disability can be very slow. Applicants should not wait to be off work for 12 months. Applicant should apply after off for 6 months or sooner if you learn your health problem is going to keep you off work for a longer time.

How do I apply for Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration allows you to apply for SSD ,not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) online at www.ssa.gov . The application allows you to stop and return where you left off so if you cannot sit at a computer for long enough to complete in one sitting, you can come and go. When completing the application answer the questions with simple basic information. The Social Security Administration will review medical records for the more in depth details needed to determine if you are disability. After you are done with the online application, Social Security Administration will mail you a document that you must reply to and this will complete your application. If applying for Supplemental Security Income, you must complete the application in person. You may call your local Social Security Administration office to schedule an appointment to complete your application.

What is the difference between SSD (Social Security Disability) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income)?

While you are working, SSA is reaching into the paychecks and taking out money. This is purchasing long term disability insurance from the government. Just like you pay for car insurance in January and your coverage is good through June, with continued work and paying in, you buy insurance coverage for SSD into the future. This coverage expires at your Date Last Insured (DLI). If you are found disable before the DLI, you qualify for SSD benefits. These benefits, your PIA, is based on the money paid in if you qualify for disability after the DLI, you may be eligible for SSI. SSI is financially based, so your assets must be very limited.

Do I need an attorney?

You do not have to have an attorney. Social Security has lots of forms and very strict deadlines. However an attorney from Taylor and Associates can guide you through the process. An attorney can also help you get the information from your health care providers needed by Social Security. Many people have to go to a hearing before a Social Security Judge to get disability and an attorney can prepare your file and you for testimony at a hearing.

How far back can Social Security Administration pay me for disability?

The Social Security Administration will pay for one year prior to the date that you completed your application. This is another reason to apply before being off work for 12 months so that you do not lose out on benefits.

Should I apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD)?

To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD), you must have worked and paid into Social Security for 5 years in the last ten years before becoming disabled. Social Security also has a program for people who have not paid enough into the system- this is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both types of disability benefits need proof you are disabled. SSI also has very strict financial limits to qualify. You should apply for both so you get the maximum benefits. A Taylor and Associates Attorney can help you determine which benefit you qualify for.

Does age make a difference when applying for Social Security Disability?

SSA rules are different for people under 50 years old. If you are less than 50, SSA rules say if there is any work you can do you are not disabled. For those over 50, SSA rules will take into account your past work and work skills, your age, and your education under rules called the "grids."

Can I take college classes and get disability?

College or technical courses is not work as long as it does not mimic work, ie: attend classes and do homework 5 days a week for 8 hours a day (equivalent to a 40-hour workweek). Social Security Administration will evaluate your school related activities not only for the total of hours you spend but also when considering if mental limitations like concentration, memory, persistence, or pace are limiting to you. If you are asking Social Security Administration to find you disabled because your symptoms of depression are preventing you from concentrating but you pass your college classes, Social Security Administration may find your school activities negate your claim for disability. A Taylor and Associates Attorney can help you navigate this aspect of your claim.

Can I get disability and retirement?

If you are of full retirement age you may not apply for disability. Disability is for people who cannot work because of health conditions and if you are retirement age, Social Security does not consider you a worker. On the contrary, taking Early Retirement at age 62 does not stop you from applying for disability. If Social Security Administration does find you disabled, Social Security Administration will pay you the difference between disability benefits and early retirement benefits, disability is often a little more than early retirement.

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