Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability laws can be confusing to navigate. We Can Help.
Disability Insurance Benefits
The social security program for workers functions like an insurance plan. A claimant is required to have: 1) Contributed to the program (paid social security taxes) over a sufficiently long period to be “fully insured” and 2) Contributed to the program recently enough to have “disability insured status”. In short, a worker must have paid social security taxes in order to be “insured”, just like paying the premiums for a private insurance policy. Contact our office to speak with one of our professionals for an evaluation of your case.
Supplemental Security Income
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a federal welfare program for the disabled, blind, and those over 65. In contrast to social security disability, benefits are paid out of general revenues, not out of the social security trust fund. Many states supplement the federal SSI benefit. Thus, the SSI benefit amount varies from state to state. To meet all the requirements to receive SSI a claimant must: 1) Be “disabled” using the same definition as is used for the social security disability program, 2) Meet the income and asset requirements of the SSI program, 3) Be a U.S. citizen or fall into the group of limited exceptions to the citizenship rule, and 4) File an application. There are both income and asset limitations for eligibility. The income limit is based upon the SSI benefit amount after several different kinds and amounts of unearned income are “disregarded”; and part of earned income is disregarded under a formula designed to encourage SSI recipients to work. There is also a formula for counting part of the income of parents of minors or spouses who live with the claimant. Application of this formula is called “deeming”. Contact our officeto speak with one of our professionals for an evaluation of your case.
Supplemental Social Security Income Benefits (S.S.I.) are paid to qualified individuals depending upon certain income and asset limitations, regardless of whether or not the person has worked in the past. There are also benefits available under this program for disabled children depending on the income of the child’s guardian. Children under age 18 can qualify to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits if they meet the Social Security Administration’s guidelines for being disabled and if they demonstrate financial need. The disability guidelines for children applying for SSI benefits are strict: a child must suffer from a physical or mental disability that severely limits the activities he or she can perform. This condition must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. Contact our office to speak with one of our professionals for an evaluation of your case.
Disability claims of a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse require that the deceased spouse or ex-spouse was fully insured at the time of death. Only marriage of a required duration confers the right to benefits based on the work history of a spouse: 1) 10 years for a surviving divorced spouse, or 2) With some exceptions, 9 months for a widow(er). Widow(er)s and surviving divorced spouses must be at least 50; and their disabilities must start within seven years of the death of the spouse or within seven years of the time the widow(er) or surviving divorced spouse was last entitled to mother’s or father’s benefits or to widow(er)’s disability benefits. The end of the seven years is referred to as the end of the “prescribed period” and functions similar to the way “date last insured” operates in regular social security disability cases. Contact our office to speak with one of our professionals for an evaluation of your case.