Monday, May 16, 2022

Can I Qualify For Social Security Disability

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Specifics Of Receiving Ssdi Benefits

What is #1 Biggest Mistake You can Make When Applying for Social Security Disability?

SSDI benefits are meant to replace a portion of a workers annual salary. The more you earned, the higher your benefit, up to a certain limit.

If you are approved for SSDI benefits, you receive a monthly check. The Social Security Administration calculates your monthly benefits by using a complicated formula that takes into account your age when you became disabled, how long you worked and your average amount of earnings during your working years.

Benefits are paid out in monthly checks that range from just under $1,000 for those who were making less than $20,000 a year to slightly more than $2,400 for those who were making more than $107,000 a year. The average monthly check is about $1,111.

The amount you receive also is affected by the number of credits you earned during your employment. Workers can receive up to four credits a year, based on earnings. In 2013, for example, workers receive one credit for every $1,160 earned. The amount changes every year, and the credits you earn remain on your Social Security record even if you change jobs or no longer work. Depending on your age, there is a minimum number of credits needed to receive SSDI benefits, but no maximum.

Answer A Few Short Questions And We’ll Outline Your Chances Of Getting Approved For Ssdi Or Ssi Disability Benefits

When you apply for disability benefits, Social Security will want to know the answers to some key questions to determine if you are eligible for disability. Here are some of the essential inquiries Social Security will make and why they matter read on to find out if you should apply for disability and if you can get disability.

The Exception To The Rule

You may be able to get both benefits if you opted for early retirement before you received disability benefits. These are also known an concurrent benefits. This exception would be applicable in a situation where an individual retired early due to serious medical conditions. If that individual can prove that they developed the disability prior to receiving early retirement income, theyll be able to earn both benefits.

Also Check: How Much Do I Have To Pay Into Social Security

What Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a group of lung diseases that block your airflow. The leading causes of COPD include:

  • Exposure to cigarette smoking,
  • Shortness of breath while doing everyday things,
  • Blueness of your lips or fingernails,
  • Mucus, and
  • Fatigue.
  • Your symptoms should be confirmed by spirometry, arterial blood gas testing and chest x-rays. A Functional Capacity Evaluation also can provide objective evidence of how COPD affects your ability to perform physical tasks.

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    The Basics About Disability Benefits

    Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits if I ...

    The SSDI program pays benefits to you and certain if you are insured. This means that you worked long enough and recently enough – and paid Social Security taxes on your earnings. The program pays benefits to adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources.

    While these two programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirements, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition expected to last at least one year or result in death.

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    Getting Ssdi For Emphysema

    Dealing with a life-altering medical condition and financial uncertainty makes it difficult to navigate the complex process required to apply for SSDI benefits. Many SSDI candidates are confused and intimidated by the language and the amount of documentation that must accompany the application. In addition to your work history and proof of citizenship, you must provide documents that confirm your diagnosis and the treatments used to improve your condition. The SSA will compare your gross monthly earnings history to your current monthly earnings to determine whether emphysema has negatively affected your ability to work. The agency will also evaluate your application to verify whether your condition prevents you from participating in substantial gainful activity.

    SSDI benefits can help you support your loved ones. Your application should also include information regarding family members who rely on your financial assistance, such as your spouse, minor children and parents. Children disabled before age 22 and secondary school students who are 18 to 19 years old should also be included on your application.

    Tips For Winning Your Disability Claim

    Like we mentioned earlier, the amount that you will earn from Social Security benefits is pretty set in stone, so your focus should be on winning your case rather than earning as much as possible. Unfortunately, the burden of proving that your COPD is severe enough for benefits is largely in your hands. This is why youll need to be accurate and concise about the way you apply for benefits. The turnaround time for an SSDI application is several months at best, so you should be prepared to submit a thorough application the first time around rather than having to risk waiting for them to process your application a second time. Follow the tips below to get you started.

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    How A Lawyer With Our Firm Can Help You Apply For Disability Benefits

    An attorney from our firm can offer assistance as you prepare an application for Social Security disability benefits. We can help you determine whether you have enough work credits for SSDI or should apply for SSI benefits. The law does not require you to work with a lawyer on the application and evaluation process for disability benefits, but having someone guide you can make the process go smoother.

    Every year, thousands of qualifying individuals are denied Social Security Disability benefits because of errors they made on their applications. Many people have to appeal a denial of benefits to get the assistance they need. Our team can help you avoid this costly mistake or represent you during your appeal if you have already received a denial.

    The Five Steps Of The Sequential Evaluation Process Are:

    Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits
  • Are you engaged in substantial gainful activity? If you work and earn above a certain amount each month in 2018, that amount is $1,970 for statutorily blind individuals and $1,180 for non-blind individuals the SSA will consider you to be engaged in substantial gainful activity and not disabled.
  • Do you suffer from a severe condition? In other words, does your condition interfere with basic work activities? If it does, your evaluation will move to the next step. If not, then you will not be considered to be disabled.
  • Do you have a listed impairment? The SSA has a list of impairments that are so severe that, if you suffer from one of those impairments or have a condition that is equal in severity to one, you will be deemed to be disabled. If you do not have a listed or equal impairment, your evaluation will go to the next step.
  • Can you do your previous work? DDS will conduct what is called a residual functional capacity assessment. First, DDS will want to know if your condition prevents you from doing the work you did before the onset of your condition. If so, DDS will move to the next step. If not, then you will not be deemed to be disabled.
  • Can you do any other work? Given your age, education, work experience and transferable skills, could you adapt to any other type of work? If not, then you will be considered to be disabled and medically eligible for benefits. However, if you can adjust to different work, you will not be eligible for benefits.
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    Types Of Disability Policies

    There are two types of disability policies.

    • Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.

    • Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.

    Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.

    If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:

    • How long do benefits last?

    • How much money will the policy pay?

    What Other Requirements Are Beneficiaries Required To Meet

    In order to receive Disability Insurance, a worker must have worked during at least one-fourth of his or her adult lifetime and during at least 5 of the 10 years before disability onset. There is also a five-month waiting period before a worker can qualify for benefits.

    Supplemental Security provides assistance to people with severe disabilities who have very low incomes and assets and who either lack sufficient work history to be covered for Disability Insurance or receive only a very small Disability Insurance benefit. It is important to note that many Supplemental Security beneficiaries, although lacking the sustained work history necessary to be insured under Disability Insurance, have worked and paid into the Disability Insurance system. And others, particularly women, are not eligible for Disability Insurance because they took time out of the paid labor force to care for children or other family members.

    Workers must apply for and exhaust all other available benefits before qualifying for Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security. Accordingly, Social Securitys disability programs serve as a true last resort for people with severe disabilities and little to no ability to work.

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    What Is A Disability

    The first thing you need to consider when determining whether or not you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is whether or not you are disabled by the Social Security Administration’s standards.

    You need to understand that just because you are unable to continue working in your current occupation due to your condition, the Social Security Administration might not determine that you are disabled by their standards.

    In order to be considered disabled, you must be suffering from a long-term or permanent disability that completely prevents you from performing any type of work activity whatsoever.

    For example, suppose that you have been working as an administrative assistant for the past fifteen years. Your job may have required you to move around the office quite a bit. Now, due to a disabling condition, you are no longer able to perform the duties required of your work activity.

    While you may be disabled in your eyes, the Social Security Administration may not see it that way. They may determine that you could successfully perform another type of work, such as that of a receptionist.

    If it is possible that you can perform other types of work in the national economy, you will likely not qualify for SSDI benefits.

    The Social Security Administration has published a Blue Book of medical listings that qualify individuals for SSDI benefits.

    However, proving that you are disabled is not the only factor when determining your eligibility for SSDI benefits.

    What Is The Disability Standard For Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security

    Apply for Social Security disability online

    Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security are reserved for workers with the most severe disabilities and conditions, and both use the same strict disability standard: inability to engage in substantial gainful activitydefined as being able to earn $1,040 a month in 2013due to one or more severe physical or mental impairments that are expected to last at least a year or could result in death. A workers impairment or combination of impairments must be so severe that the applicant is not only unable to do his or her previous work but also unableconsidering his or her age, education, and work experienceto engage in any other kind of substantial gainful work that exists in significant numbers in the national economy.

    Medical evidence is the cornerstone for the determination of disability in both programs. To qualify, there must be medical evidence from a doctor, specialist, or certain other licensed or certified medical sources that documents a severe impairment. Evidence from other health care providerssuch as nurse practitioners or clinical social workersis not sufficient to document a severe medical impairment. And statements from the applicants themselves, their families, co-workers, friends, or neighbors are not treated as medical evidence.

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    Are You Able To Prove That You Can’t Do Any Type Of Work

    Social Security will look to see if your condition prevents you from doing your previous work. If you can’t do your previous work, they will look to see if there is other work you can do. When making this determination, Social Security will consider various factors, like your medical records, your current abilities, and your age.

    Does your doctor believe you’re unable to work? Your doctor’s opinion on your limitations is very important to Social Security. If your doctor doesn’t think your impairment limits you from doing full-time workâor worse, if there’s an indication in your medical records that your doctor thinks you’re exaggerating your symptomsâyour claim could fail. For more information, read about what to do if your doctor thinks you’re exaggerating and how to get your doctor to cooperate with you on your claim.

    Does your condition make it difficult for you to perform daily activities? If you get by without assistance doing your grocery shopping, cooking meals for you and your family, cleaning your house, and paying your bills, Social Security might wonder if your condition isn’t severe enough to prevent you from working. Social Security looks at how your work activities and your daily living activities are limited to judge how severely a medical impairment affects your life and whether you can work. For more information, read about the importance of daily activities and Social Security’s daily activity questionnaire.

    How Common Is It For Beneficiaries To Return To Work

    Both Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security provide incentives for beneficiaries to work. Disability Insurance beneficiaries are encouraged to work up to their full capacity and can earn an unlimited amount for up to 12 months without losing any benefits. Beneficiaries who work for more than 12 months and have earnings above the substantial gainful activity level cease to receive a monthly benefit. If at any point in the next five years their condition worsens and they are not able to continue working above the substantial gainful activity level, however, they are eligible for expedited reinstatement of their benefits. This means they do not need to repeat the entire, and typically lengthy, disability-determination process that they initially went through to qualify for benefits.

    Supplemental Security beneficiaries who are able to work are encouraged to do so as well. Their benefits are reduced based on their earningsafter the first $85 of earnings each month, which is not counted against the benefitbut by only $1 for every $2 of earnings. Beneficiaries who are able to do some work will therefore always be better off with both earnings and a reduced benefit than just the benefit alone.

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    How Have The Number And Share Of People Receiving Disability Benefits Changed Over Time And What Accounts For These Changes

    There has been little change over the past two decades in the share of nonelderly adults receiving Supplemental Security due to a disability. In 2011, 2.4 percent of nonelderly adults received Supplemental Security for a disability, compared to 2.1 percent in 1996. This comparison does not, however, take into account demographic and economic changes, particularly the aging of the population and the increase in poverty, which both have increased the number of people who are potentially eligible for Supplemental Security.

    Controlling just for income, participation in Supplemental Security by working-age adults who are potentially eligible because of low income has actually declined over the past decade and a half. In 2011 there were 17.6 nonelderly adults receiving Supplemental Security for every 100 nonelderly adults with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty line, compared to 18.5 nonelderly adults in 1996. In other words, the number of nonelderly adults receiving Supplemental Security grew at a slower rate than the number of nonelderly adults with very low incomes.

    The share of nonelderly adults receiving Disability Insurance has increased over time. This is largely due to demographic factors, including:

    A number of factors account for this one-percentage-point increase in the disability-prevalence rate after accounting for the changes in the age and gender distribution of the workforce, including the following:

    What Do I Need To Know About Advance Designation

    Social Security Disability FAQ: Can I Work while applying for Disability?

    You should be aware of another type of representation called Advance Designation. This relates to the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, which was signed into law on April 13, 2018.

    Advance Designation allows capable adult and emancipated minor applicants and beneficiaries of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Special Veterans Benefits to choose one or more individuals to serve as their representative payee in the future, if the need arises.

    To help protect whats important to you, we now offer the option to choose a representative payee in advance. In the event that you can no longer make your own decisions, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing you already chose someone you trust to manage your benefits. If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees, but we must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.

    You can submit your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal account, by telephone, or in person.

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    Contact An Experienced North Carolina Ssd Benefits Lawyer

    The SSA maintains a list of impairments that are considered so severe that they automatically qualify one for disability benefits as long as all other requirements are met. These conditions are found in the SSAs Blue Book, which describes the medical evidence that is needed to prove the impairment.

    You can also be declared disabled if you have a condition that is considered to be equal in severity to a listed impairment.

    Even if you dont have a listed impairment or one considered equal in severity to a listed one, you may still be deemed to be disabled if you can show that your medical condition keeps you from working or doing any other type of work.

    Allow Hardison & Cochran to put its skill and experience to work for you in seeking disability benefits. In particular, we can help you to gather the medical evidence you need to show you are disabled.

    Contact us today and receive a free and immediate review of your case.

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