What Is Social Security Disability and What Is It For?
Social Security Disability is a federal program offered by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly benefits to individuals who are no longer able to work due to a serious and debilitating injury or illness. Your ability to qualify for this program is in part based on your prior contributions to Social Security, relying solely on taxes that have been paid into a trust fund to provide benefits for eligible workers. Social Security Disability was designed to provide a necessary source of financial assistance to individuals and their families who cannot work due to disability, which is why if you need help, you should contact an experienced Findlay social security disability attorney.
Over 60 million people receive Social Security Disability benefits nationwide, making this an incredibly important program to the fabric of the United States workforce. These benefits represent an important source of social insurance protection for disabled workers and their loved ones.
To ensure that recipients are financially comfortable even as they age, Social Security benefits are increased periodically in an attempt to keep up with higher costs of living. A Findlay Social Security Disability attorney can provide you with more insight about the Social Security program and whether these benefits are available to you.
How Does Social Security Disability Work?
Governed by federal law, the Social Security Disability program can be incredibly complex. First, it is important to note the difference between the two Social Security disability programs that are offered by the Social Security Administration. These include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance: provides financial support to individuals who are disabled and have a qualifying work history, either through their own professional experience or the experience of their spouse or parent.
- Supplemental Security Income: provides a level of financial assistance to adults or individuals with a disability who have limited income and resources.
The primary difference is that while Social Security Disability Insurance requires a person to have a qualifying work history, Supplemental Security Income does not. Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income is based on income and resources, while disability benefits look at the number of years a person worked. It is important to know which benefit(s) you may be eligible for before applying.
After a person is approved for benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance payments will begin after the sixth month of disability, which is measured based on the date on which the Social Security Administration determines that the disability began. The payments that an individual receives depend fully on the average earnings that they have received over their lifetime. As of January 2023, the average monthly benefits amount is $1,687. Social Security Disability benefits are capped at $3,636 in 2023, based on qualifying work history. The Social Security Administration provides an Online Benefits Calculator to help you estimate how your earnings will impact your benefit payments. Supplemental Security Income payments, once a person is approved for benefits, begin the month after the application for benefits was filed.
Many people with disabilities are at risk of very high healthcare costs, making it important to secure insurance to cover these costs. Social Security benefits are not designed to address medical costs and expenses. Social Security Disability Insurance recipients are eligible for Medicare after two years of receiving benefits. Supplemental Security Income recipients can be eligible for Medicare once they are approved for benefits.
Can I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits and Workers’ Compensation?
Social Security Disability benefits and workers’ compensation are independent programs designed to help workers facing illness or disability. These two benefits programs are distinct in several ways, including who oversees each program, how long you must contribute to the workforce, where your injury occurred, and the nature of your disability. Your Findlay Social Security Disability attorney can help you understand how federal disability benefits and state workers’ compensation benefits interact.
How to Apply in Findlay
Applying for Social Security Disability in Findlay is an extensive process and it is important to understand the rules and requirements associated with applying for these benefits. The process of applying for disability benefits is the same across Ohio. You can apply for Social Security Disability benefits either online, in person, or by phone. Findlay residents who wish to apply in person must travel to the Social Security Administration office located on Flag City Drive. It is possible to locate an office by zip code on the Social Security Administration’s website.
The Disability Benefit Application is required along with a completed Medical Release Form. The application will call for personal information, details about your medical condition, and information about your work history. You must also provide documentation to prove that you are eligible for benefits, which may include:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of citizenship, if born outside of the United States
- Military discharge papers if you served in the military
- Tax returns from the prior year
- Evidence of your medical condition, including doctors’ reports, test results, and other medical records
- Award letters, settlement agreements, or other evidence of workers’ compensation benefits
After receiving your application, the Social Security Administration will provide confirmation of receipt and begin reviewing your documents. If further information is required, the administration will communicate with you or your attorney. Once your application has been processed, a decision will be mailed to you.
If you are fairly certain you are going to be unable to work for a year or more, it’s typically better to apply for benefits sooner rather than later. This is because of the six-month waiting period between the time of disability and the start of payments.
When a disability prevents a person from working and earning income, Social Security Disability can be an important source of financial assistance. Recovering these benefits can be exceptionally difficult without the help of a knowledgeable Findlay Social Security Disability attorney.
Why Do I Need An Attorney to Help Me Apply?
According to data from the Social Security Administration, an average of 67% of Social Security Disability applications are denied. In other words, you are more likely to experience a denial than to have your application approved. It is for this reason that so many individuals seek assistance from a Findlay Social Security Disability attorney. The guidance offered by your attorney can make a major difference in the outcome of your case.
Your attorney can help you through all matters related to applying for Social Security disability, securing benefits, and filing an appeal if your application has been denied. There is a range of benefits associated with hiring an attorney to assist with these issues. Specifically, your attorney will be able to:
- Determine if you qualify for disability benefits and help navigate the strict eligibility requirements.
- Complete your Social Security Disability application and gather all relevant documentation and medical evidence.
- Help you avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that can jeopardize or delay your application.
- Ensure that your application proceeds quickly and efficiently through each step of the process.
- Fight for you if your application has been denied by filing a successful appeal.
- Provide you with knowledge and expertise that you would not otherwise have.
- Review your application for errors or omissions that could hurt your chance of success.
- Prepare you and any witnesses for testimony during an administrative hearing.
Ultimately, you have the right to legal representation in all of your dealings with the Social Security Administration. Exercising this right can make the difference between approval and denial, especially considering that applicants who hire an attorney are nearly three times more likely to be successful.
Hiring a Findlay Social Security Disability Attorney Near You
Applying for Social Security disability in Findlay is a complicated process and crafting the strongest application possible is key to increasing your chance of approval. Given that thousands of applications are denied every year, it is essential to carefully navigate every step of the process. Between meeting strict eligibility requirements, organizing all necessary documentation, and submitting your application to the Social Security Administration, many people turn to Findlay Social Security Disability attorneys for legal guidance.
Our team at Schaffer & Associates LPA has the skill and experience necessary to build your case and ensure that you are in the strongest position to receive the monetary assistance you need and deserve. Whether you are just beginning the process, have begun crafting your application, or were recently denied, we are here to help. Our team of experienced lawyers will work with you to review your case and guide you through the entire application process. To learn more, consider scheduling a free consultation with us or contacting our office at (419) 359-8091 today.