When you are dealing with a condition that has left you disabled, you are already attempting to handle a huge volume of information. The sheer amount of medical information coming at you can be intimidating. Add to that the complicated process of trying to apply for Social Security benefits just so that you can remain on financially stable ground, and it becomes overwhelming.
While there are programs that can help you, determining which programs you are eligible for and how to apply for them can be difficult. Bureaucratic red tape is notoriously complicated to deal with, and this is no different.
At Hankey Law Office, we know that you have questions about disability benefits. Getting simple, straightforward answers from the government isn’t easy. That’s where our attorneys come in. Our legal team has experience helping people just like you apply for Social Security benefits. Navigating the system is not only time-consuming, but it is also complex and oftentimes results in denials. We help make sure your application is complete, accurate, and as detailed as possible in order to strengthen your claim.
Need to apply for benefits but don’t know where to begin? Begin by calling our office at (317) 634-8565 for a consultation.
What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Benefits?
Not all Social Security disability benefits are the same. You may be eligible for certain programs but not others, depending on the nature of your condition and even your financial status. Before you begin the application process, you need to know which programs you may be eligible for. Two of the most common types of disability benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance, SSDI, and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. There are a few key differences between these programs and how they screen applicants for eligibility.
Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that is primarily funded through payroll taxes. Typically, recipients of SSDI have made contributions to the fund by way of FICA Social Security taxes that have been taken out of their paychecks while employed. In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you have to have built up a certain about of “work credits” with Social Security. How many credits depends on your age and the year when you become disabled.
Typically, you must have worked some portion of five of the last ten years before you suffered a disability. You must also be at least 18 years old but under the age of 65 and unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in your death.
SSDI benefits are generally subject to a five-month waiting period before being paid out. Since you have paid into the system via payroll taxes, the amount of your benefits will depend on your earnings.
Social Security Income is a supplement program that is funded by general tax revenues and not Social Security payroll taxes. It is a need-based program for disabled individuals with limited income and assets that pays out as a flat rate income. Typically, SSI benefits are allotted monthly and are paid out to disabled or blind individuals who are 65 or older or fall within certain disability eligibility guidelines.
Those applying for SSI benefits must also not have income or assets that exceed $2,000, or $3,000 if you are married. The Social Security Administration counts income as any money you earn from work, the money you receive from family and friends, stocks, property, and other benefits, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment, or pensions.
Commons Disabilities That May Qualify for Benefits
While there are different types of programs that you may qualify for, generally the list of disabilities that make you eligible for either program is the same. The Social Security Administration reviews all applications and accompanying medical documentation in order to make a determination about your disability and whether to grant you benefits.
Correctly and thoroughly filling out the application is only part of the equation, however. You must have extensive medical documentation supporting your diagnosis and the impact it has on your life and ability to work. Whether you have suffered an injury or a medical condition, these are some of the more common health concerns that may qualify you to receive Social Security benefits:
- Back/spine injuries
- Neck injuries
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Blindness or severely impaired vision
- Bipolar Disorder
- Chronic pain
- Chronic liver disease
- Cardiovascular System Disorders
- Digestive System Disorders
- Endocrine System Disorders
- Immune Disorders
- Musculoskeletal System Disorder
- Skin Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech Disorders
- Impairments that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Hematological Disorder Claims
- Malignant Neoplastic Disease
- Heart or other cardiac conditions
- Breathing disorders
- Mental disorders
- Neurocognitive disorders
- Chronic kidney disease
A complete list of eligible medical conditions can be found on the Social Security Administration’s website. In some situations, children may also qualify to receive disability benefits. There are separate eligibility requirements for children, as well as additional materials that must be included with an SSI application. There are also programs that benefit disabled widows or widowers as well. So, no matter the disability and your own set of circumstances, chances are there may be a program that is right for you.
An experienced attorney with Hankey Law Office will be able to review your medical history and help you determine if your condition makes you or your child eligible to apply for Social Security benefits.
What Can Hankey Law Office Do to Benefit Your Situation?
Don’t give up on securing the benefits you deserve just because the process is difficult to navigate. The legal team at Hankey Law Office wants to help you build a strong application and guide you through the process of applying for Social Security benefits. Whether this is your first time applying or you want to file an appeal against an unjust ruling, we have the experience and resources it takes to maximize your chances of success.
Regain some of your independence and financial stability by getting the benefits you deserve. Hankey Law Office can help. Call our office at (317) 634-8565 and let our Indiana Social Security Disability attorneys help you get started.