If you or a member of your family have a disability that keeps you from earning a living, Social Security disability, or SSD, may ease financial hardships. As currently organized under federal law and regulations, the Social Security Administration oversees two programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), that pay monthly cash benefits to people who are disabled.
You must satisfy the requirements for each program to be approved for benefits and being disabled is only one of them. Criteria for Disability differ from one SSD program to the other, so you need to know and understand the process and the qualifying criteria to improve your chance of being approved. In addition to using the information contained in this article about how to get SSD approved, another way to improve your chance to get SSD is with the assistance of a disability advocate from London Disability.
How to get SSD: Disability requirements for each program
Both SSD programs offer benefits to people living with disabilities, but SSDI requires that you have a work history of a specific duration to be approved. You may qualify for SSI, on the other hand, without having worked at any time in your life, but it has very severe limits. $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples, on the financial resources available to you. No such limitations apply to SSDI.
Another distinguishing feature of SSI, as opposed to SSDI, is that children may be eligible to receive benefits as long as they meet all the criteria to qualify. If you qualify for SSI, you also may be eligible for Medicaid to assist with medical needs depending on the laws and policies in place in the state in which you currently live.
Get SSD approved with a work history
When you work and earn an income, which can be from employment or self-employment, you earn work credits provided you pay Social Security taxes on the earnings. Each $1,470 that you earn in 2021 equals one work credit. The earnings per work credit change from year to year, and you can earn up to four credits a year.
If you become disabled and have enough work credits, you may get SSD approved through the SSDI program. A person whose disability starts at an older age may need more work credits to qualify for benefits than would a younger worker under the guidelines for SSDI. You can find out whether your work history allows you to qualify by having it reviewed at London Disability. Their disability advocates know how the approval process works and the criteria Social Security uses to determine whether you have enough work credits and how recently you must have worked to be approved for SSD.
How to get SSD without a work history
If London Disability determines that your work history does not meet the criteria to qualify SSDI, they may find that you qualify for SSD through the SSI program. The value of your financial resources cannot exceed $2,000 or $3,000 for a couple. Resources include the following:
A). Bank accounts and cash on hand.
C). Personal property.
D). Stocks, bonds, and U.S. Savings Bonds.
E). Motor vehicles.
As a general rule, anything of value that can be used to acquire food and shelter is a resource included in the $2,000 and $3,000 limits. Some resources are, however, excluded, including the value of a car or other vehicle you or a member of the household use for your personal transportation and the value of a home that you occupy as your principal residence. The exclusion for a principal residence also excludes the value of the land on which the structure that you live in stands.
Proving that you are disabled
To get SSD approved, your medical records must establish that you meet the criteria Social Security uses to define a disability that qualifies for benefits. Keep in mind that you cannot qualify for SSD with only a partial or temporary disability. Your disability must be expected to last or has already existed for at least one year or be expected to cause death.
Disabled for purposes of SSD means that you have a physical or mental impairment or impairments that prevent you from performing a substantial gainful activity, which includes such work-related activities as walking, climbing stairs, sitting and standing, and remembering. The impairments must prevent you from engaging in the type of work you did before becoming disabled and prevent you from switching to other types of work you may otherwise have been capable of doing.
Increase the chance of getting approved for SSD
If you want to get SSD approved, a disability expert from London Disability has the experience, knowledge, and skills to help. Whether filing an initial application for SSD or appealing the denial of a claim for benefits, working with a disability advocate may increase your chance of achieving a successful outcome.