The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides benefits to a person with a disability so severe that they would be unable to do their past work or any other substantial gainful work which exists in the national economy.
In a Social Security Disability claim, the amount received under this program is based on the worker’s earning record. In general, a worker’s monthly Social Security benefit is based on his or her 35 highest-paid years of earnings in Social Security covered employment.
You must have worked and met the disability insured status to be eligible for benefits. The general rule is that an individual must have accrued sufficient quarters of coverage, based upon age, to meet the insured status. If the claim is approved medically, then there will be a five month waiting period before entitlement begins—five full months from the date of onset. Medicare is the medical coverage for SSD and there is a 24 month waiting period before entitlement begins.
Unlike the Social Security Disability program, there is no work requirement for the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI). SSI is a federal welfare program for individuals that are either disabled, blind and over the age of 65. It makes monthly payments to people who are disabled with low income. There are asset/resources and income limitations for single and married couples. The amounts you can receive from SSI may vary depending on your living arrangement. Medicaid is the medical coverage for SSI claims.
Another benefit under the Social Security Disability Program is a claim for Disabled Adult Child (DAC). Here, an individual may obtain benefits on the work record of a retired, disabled or deceased parent. These individuals must be unmarried and must have become disabled before age 22.
Under these programs medical evidence is the cornerstone for deciding a disability claim. But before social security will make a determination on your disability, they will first determine whether or not you meet the technical/non-medical requirements discussed above. Once it is established that you meet the insurance requirements and/or income requirements, social security reviews the medical component of the case. A disability, as defined by Social Security, is a physical and/or mental impairment that affects a person’s ability to engage in sustained work activity; and the disability has lasted 12 consecutive months or is expected to last 12 consecutive months, or result in death.
SSA administers a five-step procedure that embodies a set of presumptions about disabilities:
Step One: Are you presently working?
Step Two: How Severe is the condition?
Step Three: Does the Impairment meet or equal the Listing of Impairments?
Step Four: Can the person return to their Past Relevant Work?
Step Five: Can the person perform other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy?
Moreover, in determining whether someone is disabled, the regulations consider a person’s chronological age in combination with their education, work experience and the residual functional capacity. Age is an important factor in a social security claim. Social Security has several steps and procedures—their laws are complex. For this reason, if you have been denied benefits and need assistance from an attorney, call us for a free consultation.