This blog is about a very special benefit disabled people are entitled to – Social Security Disability.
Social Security is not just for retirees or individuals who are 62 years-old. Social Security benefits are also available to individuals who are considered disabled by the federal government and are not able to work.
Social security benefits fall into two categories – Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI).
Social Security Disability benefits are for workers covered by the Social Security laws who have worked long enough and recently enough to be “insured” and are therefore eligble for disability benefits. Social Security Disability benefits may also be available for disabled widows or widowers and disabled children.
Medicare is available for persons eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. There is a 24-month waiting period and a small amount is deducted from your Social Security check each month to pay into Medicare.
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) is also managed by the federal government and provides payments to adults and children who are disabled and have limited income and resources. The benefit of SSI is to qualify you don’t need to meet the strict work history requirements that are required to receive SSD.
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability?
To receive Social Security Disability benefits, a person must be eligible. Generally, SSD benefits are available to individuals under 65 who have been employed for at least five out of the last ten years. The law requires you earn a certain number of work credits in a specific time period. Most people need at least 20 credits earned over ten years; however, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
What does “disability” mean for Social Security Disability?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to an impairment or combination of impairments. The condition(s) must last or be expected to last for at least 12 months. Part-time work may or may not constitute substantial gainful activity.
Monthly earnings below an amount set by the government will not qualify a claim and are not considered SGA.
How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) decide if I can receive benefits?
When determining a Social Security claim, the SSA evaluates a specific set of criteria. This criteria is the same for each person.
First, the SSA determines if you are engaged in substantial gainful activity (SGA). If the answer is no, then the SSA moves on to determine the severity of your impairments or injuries.
The severity of your impairments or injuries is determined by looking at your medical records. The fact that you suffer from multiple impairments or injuries does not matter. What matters is the effect your injuries have on your ability to function physically or mentally.
The SSA will compare your disability to a list, called the Listing of Impairments to determine if your impairments are severe enough to quality.
What if I am Denied?
Typically, you have 60 days from the date of your denial to appeal. Your case will then go through the appeal process and gets heard before a magistrate at a special Social Security office. The Social Security Administration’s own statistics show an applicant is more likely to be successful during the appeals process with a lawyer than without representation.
Winning Social Security benefits is hard. The process is long, there is a lot of paperwork and the Social Security Administration denies almost everyone who applies.
That’s why if you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from working for at least one year, call the Michigan Social Security Disability lawyers today at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733).
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm has been successfully handling Michigan Social Security cases for years. We have a team of dedicated Michigan Social Security Disability lawyers dedicated to helping you obtain the benefits you deserve.