Social Security Disability Insurance

Those who are disabled in the United States may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. This insurance is provided by the Social Security Administration and is provided to those who are unable to work because of a disability. There are many different programs that are available for different situations. Understanding the various programs will help you to determine which program you may qualify for and how to seek help in applying.

First, it is important to understand what the government deems as a disability. A disability is typically defined as the inability to earn a substantial income by working because of a medically determined disability. This disability could be either mental or physical and in order to qualify for permanent Social Security Disability Insurance, the disability must last for at least twelve months or be a terminal medical condition. Some children under 18 years of age may also be eligible for this insurance provided they have a debilitating disability.

Disability insurance benefits are typically provided to those who are deemed to be disabled and who have worked at some point during their lifetime and contributed to Social Security. It is normally required that a recipient work and pay FICA for no less than five of the last ten years. The disability must prove to be so advanced that it prevents the disabled person from working and earning a specific income each month. The actual amount of income that can be earned normally changes each year. Monthly benefits are typically paid based in part on the previous earnings of the recipient. There is a five month waiting period before benefits will begin after the disability has been approved. This means that no monthly benefits will be paid for five months after entitlement begins.

Another program is Supplement Security Income or SSI and many get the two confused. Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits are typically only available to those who have worked enough in the past to qualify and to children who are disabled. The Social Security Administration determines the eligibility for benefits based on the past work history and the actual disability. SSI is available for those who fall below a certain income guideline and is often available even when regular Social Security Disability Insurance is not.

The actual nature and the extent of the impairment or disability are used to determine eligibility as well. The agency also looks at the inability to engage in gainful activities since the disability began as well as the date that the disability began when making a determination for benefits. Family members of those who qualify for Disability Insurance Benefits also often qualify for a percentage of benefits as well, based on the previous earnings of the disabled person. Children and spouses of those who are deceased but who have worked and earned enough to qualify may also receive benefits.

SSI or Supplemental Security Income is normally provided to lower income disabled adults and disabled children. In order to determine eligibility for this program, other Social Security Benefits, assets, savings accounts and the total income of all household members are taken into consideration.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, medical documentation must be provided. The SSA requires specific evidence of the disability or impairment before any benefits will be awarded. In order for the disability to qualify, it must be shown as a severe disability that will prevent the person from working and must be shown by medically accepted laboratory findings and clinical examinations. Many injuries and illnesses do not qualify a person for Social Security Disability Insurance. There are many disabilities that are simply too difficult to correctly diagnoses and attorneys are typically retained in order for these people to appeal a decision and receive benefits in the future. Most who have been awarded Social Security Disability Insurance also receive Medicare and/or Medicaid in order to help offset medical care costs.

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