Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are paid from tax contributions to Social Security. These contributions are then applied to two different disability programs provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA): Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
There are very specific age, health, and income requirements that you must meet to be eligible for these benefits. If you were injured or are unable to work because of injury, illness, or disability, call the Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377 for a free case evaluation. A Carrollton Social Security Disability lawyer can help you apply for benefits or appeal a decision made by the SSA.
Social Security Disability Benefits Come in Two Forms
According to the SSA, SSDI is a federal assistance program that provides monthly payments to insured working-age adults who are unable to work because of injury, illness, or disability. If you paid Social Security taxes while working and meet the eligibility requirements of the program, you might be eligible for SSDI benefits if you are unable to work.
You can apply for benefits at your nearest Social Security Field Office. The field office will evaluate the non-medical aspects of your application, such as your age, income, marital status, employment history, training, and citizenship status. Your medical history will be assessed by a Disability Determination Service (DDS) center.
There are several key differences between SSDI and SSI, which is another assistance program run by the SSA. SSDI is funded by Social Security taxes, whereas SSI is funded by general tax revenues. Also, SSDI is for insured workers who paid Social Security taxes but cannot work due to disability. Disabilities must be complete, and SSDI is not provided for workers who suffer temporary or partial disabilities.
SSI, on the other hand, is for aged, blind, and disabled individuals, and people who have little or no income. It provides cash benefits to help program recipients meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. As such, it is needs-based, unlike SSDI, which is disability-based.
For a free legal consultation with a social security disability lawyer serving Carrollton, call (972) 535-6377
Normal Retirement Age
You can apply for SSDI benefits as long as you have not yet reached your normal retirement age (NRA). If you do not know your NRA, the SSA provides a chart of NRAs by birth year. Individuals born in or after 1960 have a normal retirement age of 67, while people born in or before 1937 have a normal retirement age of 65.
If you are younger than your retirement age and suffered or experienced a health condition that prevents you from working, you may apply for benefits as long as you meet all other eligibility criteria.
Once you reach your NRA, you can continue to receive benefits, but your benefits change from Social Security Disability benefits to Social Security Retirement benefits.
Carrollton Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me (972) 535-6377
If you earn above certain income limits, you are categorized as being engaged in substantial gainful activity, or SGA. This is important to note because you might not qualify for SSD benefits if you make a higher income than the SGA limits.
If you earn less than $1,260 per month, you can apply for disability benefits. The income limit for blind individuals is $2,110 per month if you are applying for SSDI benefits. Income limits for the blind do not apply to blind individuals applying for SSI.
Since SSDI benefits are intended for workers who cannot work because of qualifying health conditions and earn less than the SGA amount for their household, earning more than the amount allocated to households of your size bars you from receiving benefits. The same applies to non-blind individuals who are interested in SSI benefits.
When you apply for disability benefits, you must provide the SSA documentation of your income, including any rental earnings, corporate retirement accounts, military benefits, alimony, child support, and any other income sources you may have. The SSA treats different forms of income differently. Some sources of income or family dependents, such as a child who has been disabled from birth, may qualify for higher benefits.
If you are not sure if you qualify for disability benefits, call the Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377. A Carrollton Social Security Disability lawyer may review your case to see if you qualify. Our team can help you calculate your income level and gather the paperwork and evidence you need to meet the income eligibility criteria for benefits.
You must also have an illness, disability, or injury that meets the SSA’s criteria for benefits. Health conditions that entitle you to benefits are usually defined as anything that prevents you from being able to work. The condition must last for at least 12 consecutive months or be a terminal illness.
Among the health conditions that might entitle you to receive benefits are different forms of cancer, blindness, heart conditions, respiratory illnesses, and orthopedic issues. A complete list of illnesses that qualify for benefits can be found on the SSA’s listing of impairments page.
Work Requirements for SSDI
As mentioned above, you are only eligible for SSDI if you paid Social Security taxes when you were working and if you worked long enough to accrue work credits. According to the SSA, you are eligible for Social Security benefits if you have accumulated 40 work credits. You can earn up to four credits every year that you work in an eligible job. However, when it comes to disability benefits, your work credit requirements vary by age. For example, if you are 24 or younger, you must have accumulated six work credits in a three-year period.
Depending on your circumstances, the nature of your injuries, and your dependents, the SSA may make a case-by-case determination for your application if you do not meet the work credits criteria for SSDI eligibility.
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Your SSD Benefits Might Change
Your benefits can change, and you can even lose them if there are any changes in your eligibility criteria. Certain life changes regarding your dependents might also change your benefits eligibility, such as if a dependent child passes a certain age, gets married, or moves out of your household.
In general, you can continue to receive benefits as long as your health condition does not improve to the point that you are no longer disabled. For SSDI, you must also not be able to reenter the workforce or earn more than the SGA minimums for households of your size. For SSI, you might still be able to receive benefits even if you are working at or above the SGA level, though you must meet other eligibility requirements.
If you are jailed for 30 days or more, you can lose your benefits. However, you can reapply for benefits once you are released as long as your pre-incarceration eligibility status has not changed.
Apply for Benefits Online, In-Person, or by Mail
To apply for benefits, visit the SSA’s disability benefits page. You can also apply in-person at your local Social Security office or via mail.
Have the following ready when applying:
- Proof of income
- Proof of disability
- Details on dependents
- Work/job and educational history
- Military service details, if any
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
Contact the Underwood Law Office for Assistance
Once you apply, a Disability Determination Service center will decide whether you meet the SSA’s definition of being disabled. Based on this determination and the rest of the evidence you submit with your application, you will either be approved or denied benefits.
For assistance with applying for benefits, contact the Underwood Law Office at (972) 535-6377. A Carrollton Social Security Disability lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your application. We can help you pursue disability benefits. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today.