Social Security Disability
The administrative framework of social security disability applications and appeals can be overwhelming. Hudson Potts and Bernstein’s social security disability attorneys and staff can help navigate that process, answer your questions, and ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that is designed to assist people who have disabilities. To qualify you must have worked for a certain length of time and within a specific timeframe of your application for benefits.
Social Security Disability vs. SSI
Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both federal programs designed to help people who are living with a disability. However, where SSDI is based on a person who has worked recently and for a certain amount of time, SSI is designed to help people with disabilities as well as older adults who have very limited income.
Understanding Social Security Disability Payments
SSDI benefits are based on your average earnings over your lifetime that are covered by Social Security. In 2022, the maximum disability payment is $3,345 per month. However, the majority of recipients get about $1,282 a month.
Other types of benefits from the government such as pensions that are based on work that isn’t covered by Social Security, as well as public disability benefits and workers’ compensation may reduce SSDI benefits.
How Long You Can Receive Social Security Disability
A person can receive SSDI benefits for as long as they are disabled or until they are 65 years old. When they reach the age of 65, the programs shift. Social Security Disability stops and Social Security Retirement benefits will begin.
If the person reaches a point where they are no longer disabled or their disabling condition improves so that they can return to work, their SSDI benefits will stop. A person’s SSDI benefits will also be stopped if the person becomes incarcerated.
Social Security routinely reviews disability benefits cases, called “Continuing Disability Reviews” to determine whether to continue benefits or stop them. Generally, these reviews are done at different times depending on the condition and the chances that the person’s disability will improve. Some cases are reviewed every 18 months, while others are reviewed every 3 years, and others are reviewed every 7 years.
Conditions that are Considered Disabilities
There is no set list of disabilities that is used to determine whether or not a person qualifies for SSDI. The legal definition of disability is an impairment that is mental or physical, or a medical impairment, or an impairment that is expected to result in death or has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
Some disabilities are more likely to qualify for SSDI. This is not an exhaustive list, but some of these conditions include:
It is a good idea to have a Social Security Disability attorney help you with your application and moving through the process. You begin by gathering the documents and information that you will need. Your attorney can help you by giving you a checklist. The next step is to complete your application and submit it.
Once submitted, Social Security will review the application to ensure it meets the basic requirements for SSDI. This includes checking to see if you worked enough years and if no longer working if your last date worked is within the required timeframe.
Social Security processes your application and it is forwarded to the Disability Determination Services office in the state where you applied. This is the agency that decides whether you will receive SSDI or not.
You will then be notified of the decision. If approved, your benefits will begin within a certain amount of time. If denied, you can appeal the decision.
The Social Security Disability process can be challenging. At Hudson, Potts, and Bernstein we have the experience to help you with your application and get you the benefits that you deserve. If you have a disability and are seeking SSDI, call us first.
Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys by calling 318-388-4400.