While Social Security is often associated with retirement, Social Security also provides disability income to those who have become physically or mentally impaired.
A disability is defined as an inability to work because of a serious condition that is expected to last for 12 months or more, or result in death. Social Security disability does not include short-term disability. With at least five major types of Social Security disability benefits, Disability Insurance Benefits, the most important type of Social Security disability, is paid to workers who have spend five out of the last 10 years working and are now disabled.
Disabled Widow or Widower’s Benefits are paid to individuals who are at least 50 and become disabled after the death of their husband or wife, assuming the deceased spouse worked a sufficient number of hours to be insured. Disabled Adult Child Benefits go to a child who became disabled before the age of 22 and is a child of a person who is deceased or receiving disability or retirement benefits.
Eligibility may depend on how long you were in the work force and how much you paid in Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid to those who are poor and are disabled, regardless of whether they worked in the past or not.
Farah & Farah’s Jacksonville Social Security disability attorneys will help you challenge the roadblocks you may encounter on the way to collecting disability benefits. Our team can determine the benefits you are owed, and if you are denied, our attorneys will be by your side to challenge that denial. Jacksonville injury attorneys at Farah & Farah will also answer any questions you may have about returning to work in a limited capacity so you do not lose Social Security benefits.
I’m healthy, why should I care about disability?
How do I apply for disability benefits?
When do I apply for disability benefits?
Will I still get Medicare?
Can I still get Workers’ Compensation benefits if I apply for Social Security disability?
How do I know if I will be found disabled?
What if I was staying home with the kids – can I qualify for Social Security disability?
A: No one wants to think about the possibility of becoming disabled, but federal statistics show the chances of a 20-year-old worker becoming disabled before retirement age are 3 in 10. A disability can translate to a physical or mental impairment that makes it impossible for you to be gainfully employed and therefore unable to earn enough to pay your bills. The disability must last for a continuous period of time extending 12 months or beyond.
A: You can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov or call a toll free number 1-800-772-1213 and make an appointment at a local Social Security office to file the claim in person, which will take a few hours. You can also file by telephone. Plan for a disability claims interview to last about one hour. A Starter Kit is also available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.
You will need to be prepared for your first meeting. Make sure you have documents that contain your social security number, a birth certificate, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, and any medical professionals you consulted. Include the dates of all of your visits for medical care and name the medication and dosage of all drugs you’re taking. All medical records must be included as well as lab and test results.
You need to be able to talk about the type of work you did and bring a copy of your most recent Wage and Tax Statement (W-2 Form).
A: It is advised that you apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled because it can take months before the application is completed. Do not wait until your sick leave is exhausted. In fact, the day you become disabled would be a good date to file, as you do not want any delay in receiving benefits.
A: If you are approved for any kind of Social Security disability benefit other than SSI you will get Medicare coverage after you have received disability benefits for two years.
A: You can receive Social Security disability benefits even while you are receiving workers’ compensation. However, there is a reduction in Social Security disability benefits which are offset because you are also receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In some states, the workers’ compensation benefits are actually reduced when the worker is also receiving Social Security disability benefits.
A: There is no easy way to answer that question. After you file your claim, the Disability Determination program in your state receives the case. This person, after consulting with your doctor, will make the initial decision about your claim. If the claim is denied, you can request a reconsideration of the case, which is then sent to another examiner at the Disability Determination agency. Eventually the claimant may request a hearing and the case is then sent to an Administrative Law Judge who works for Social Security to make an independent decision.
While you have no idea what the outcome will be of your case, an individual should make the decision to apply for Social Security disability benefits based on their physical or mental condition and their ability to return to the job.
A: If you have worked five out of the last 10 years, you may have enough earnings to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. It depends on how many years you have been a homemaker. The only exception might be for those under the age of 31who have not spent many years on the job. Remember, as a homemaker, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), regardless of your work history.
A: As far as family benefits, there is a formula that depends on how long you worked and earned in the past. For a disabled widow or widower, the same formula applied to your late husband or wife. For a disabled adult child, the amount would depend on how much the parent worked and earned.
If you decide to work and want to continue earning your Social Security disability and Medicare benefits, Farah & Farah can help you navigate the trial work period so you are not penalized for attempting to return to work. We hope you do not become disabled, but if you do, our Jacksonville Social Security disability lawyers can help you file a successful claim and help you challenge any denial of your benefits. Contact us at 855-797-9899.