Think of SSDI as a disability insurance policy with the federal government.Remember the FICA deductions that came out of your check while you were working? Part of that payment was your disability insurance premium. If you are able to prove that you are Disabledwithin the meaning of the Social Security Act and that you are vested or have enough Quarters of Coverage, then you will be able to receive disability benefits which may be a lump sum or monthly cash payment.The amount of your monthly benefits depends upon your past earnings and will be calculated by the Social Security Administration.
There are persons who have not worked (children, homemakers, etc.), and those who have worked but have not accrued enough quarters of coverage.If such persons are disabled and fall within certain poverty guidelines, they would qualify for SSI. Persons 62 years or older do not need to prove themselves disabled. If the 62 + year old person does not have enough quarters of coverage and he or she falls within certain poverty guidelines and/or resource limits, then that person will also be entitled to receive SSI.
Health benefits accompany SSDI and SSI.A person who qualifies for SSDI will also be eligible for Medicareonce they have been disabled for 29 months.When we meet for your consultation, I’ll explain the 29 months.It’s quite interesting.
A person who qualifies for SSI qualifies for the Medicaidbenefit.The SSI recipient does not have to wait for 29 months to get the accompanying Medicaid benefit. In rare circumstances, a person may qualify for all four benefits:SSDI, Medicare, SSI and Medicaid.
I suggest that you immediately call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to apply by phone, or you apply online at www.ssa.gov .People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778. You may be given a telephone appointment on your first phone call.Someone at Social Security will call you at an appointed time. Be sure that you are available to receive the phone call from the Social Security representative at the time scheduled and at the telephone number that you provided.This is when that little saying, “time is money” holds true.If you are entitled to retroactive benefits, the amount of the retroactive lump sum payment will be calculated from the date you call in to submit your application.You will be asked a series of questions and Social Security will send you a computer printed form with their questions and your answers.You will need to review it, sign it and send it back to the Social Security Administration.If you are not available for the telephone application as scheduled or you do not send the signed question/answer form back to Social Security, then your application call in date is not protected and you may have to start over.Remember, “time is money”.
What if I get turned down?
This is where my law office steps in to help. I advise you to appeal your case.You have sixty (60) days to appeal to the next level.Don’t miss your deadline!If you get to my office before you appeal time is up, we will help you with the appeal forms and process. It is very difficult to get approved for benefits on the first level of the process.Generally, you must be considered Presumptively Disabledor have a medical condition that clearly meets Social Security’s standards and definition of disability in order to be approved at the beginning of the application process.
There are three additional levels of appeal in the administrative process.If you are turned down on your initial application, then you must request a Reconsideration. If you are turned down on Reconsideration, then you must apply for an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing. If you are denied at the ALJ level, then you may request the Appeals Council to review the judge's decision.
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