For people who have worked all their lives to support themselves and their family and are now disabled, it can be difficult to adjust to this new change and even more challenging to obtain Social Security disability (SSD) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to be eligible for SSD, a person must meet several and strict eligibility requirements. To help disabled individuals better understand whether they qualify for SSD, information on the types of SSD benefits available is necessary. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we know that the complexities surrounding applying for Social Security disability are often discouraging. That is why we are here to offer our legal guidance and representation to disabled persons in New York.
SSA examines a person's inability to work when determining whether he or she is disabled and eligible to receive benefits. SSA considers a person disabled under Social Security standards if the following applies:
- An individual isn't able to do the work that he or she did before;
- SSA concludes that a person isn't capable of adjusting to different work due to the medical condition(s); and
- A disability has endured or is anticipated to endure for at least one year (12 months) or end in death.
Overall, Social Security disability is not provided to those with partial or short-term disability; it must be total.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI provides benefits to disabled persons through funding from Social Security taxes paid by employers, self-employed individuals, and workers. A disabled worker will receive Medicare coverage right away after being granted disability payments for two years.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, a worker is required to earn adequate credits as determined by a taxable work to be “insured” for Social Security purposes. SSDI may be given to any of these individuals:
- Adults who have suffered a disability since childhood
- Blind or disabled workers
- The Children of blind or disabled workers
- Widow(er)s of blind or disabled workers
As far as how much a person will receive for SSDI a month, this is established by the Social Security earnings record of the insured individual.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI receives financing through general revenues from taxes; therefore, payments are not established based on a person's previous work history. Under most circumstances, a beneficiary will be eligible for Medicaid right away.
SSI payment may be given to any of these individuals:
- People who are 65-years-old and older
- People who are disabled or blind
- Children of people who are disabled or blind
Additional eligibility requirements include having restricted income; resources that meet the living arrangement requirements; and being a U.S. citizen or national, or in one of specific categories of aliens.
The amount of SSI a person can get each month fluctuates based on the maximum federal benefit rate, which may be supplemented on a state level.
Applying for SSDI or SSI requires a lot of patience and determination. Even if your application is denied, if you have a valid disability and cannot work as a result, it is important that you evaluate why you were denied and what your application is missing so that you can get approval the next time around. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, our New York SSD attorneys are available to assist you in the application and appeals process of your Social Security disability claim. Dedicated to protecting the rights of injured and disabled workers, we will help you obtain the benefits that you need. Call (212) 986-7353 today for a free consultation.