Here’s an alarming statistic about the importance of Social Security Disability Benefits: 25% of the 20-year-old’s today will become disabled by the age of 67 according to the Social Security Administration. In other words, it is very possible that you won’t be able to work until your retirement age.
When you work for a longer time, you’re guaranteed more Social Security benefits in retirement. More benefits would mean an easier retirement life, but what if you never reach that age? If you’re a person who needs benefits prior to retirement age, Social Security is a lot more than just a retirement program that provides benefits to older Americans.
Apart from the program that pays retirement benefits, there’s also a program that pays disability benefits. Would you qualify for disability benefits? The answer to this question lies in the complex judging criteria developed by the SSA (Social Security Administration).
If you can qualify for the disability benefits program, the Social Security Administration can provide you inflation-free benefits for the rest of yourlife.
Here are five things you should know about Social Security disability benefits.
1. There Are Two Kinds of Social Security Insurance for Disability Benefits
Usually, when you hear someone talk about having “Social Security Disability Benefits,” they’re talking about the Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI. Unlike retirement benefits, the amount of SSDI you get depends on the number of years you have worked and how much you have contributed to the SSDI system. When you’ve worked a certain number of years, you are eligible for a designated amount of benefits from the SSA if you qualify.
This program is solely designed to take care of workers who have lost their ability to work and pay for their family’s expenses. In addition to this program, the SSA has another program that is called the Supplemental Security Income program, or the SSI.
The SSI program is based on a disabled individual’s needs and not their working history. For the remainder of this article you can assume we’re talking about SSDI.
2. Am I Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?
To make it simple for you, we’ve grouped the complex criteria set by the SSA into two distinct groups. If you want to qualify for SSDI, you need to meet these two standards. First, to get SSDI, you need to have worked a certain amount of time. The time period you’ve worked determines how long you are insured for. To make sure you qualify for SSDI benefits, the SSA will determine you “Date Last Insured” before which you must have become disabled to qualify.
If you’ve qualified under the SSA’s “duration of work test,” you’ll also have to qualify the “recent work” test. Generally to qualify you must have worked for a total of five of the last ten years. Secondly, you need to be disabled. Quite specifically, Social Security disability benefits are paid out to people who can’t work their previous job or any job in the national economy, and their disability is expected to last a year.
3. How Much Will I Get If I Become Disabled?
Just like retired workers, the amount of money you get from your Social Security earnings ultimately determines the benefits you get. As we said earlier, the amount you receive is determined by how much you paid into the system and how many years you have worked. In 2020 the maximum benefit someone can receive is over $3,000 per month!
The Application Process
If you’re trying to apply for disability benefits, there are two things you should know before applying on your own:
- The application process can be filled with technicalities and is quite complex
- 75% of people who apply on their own (without a lawyer) get their disability claims rejected
We suggest you get a lawyer because a quality attorney like those at Kahn & Associates don’t charge you anything until we’ve secured benefits for you. To get started, Kahn and & Associates also offer a free disability case assessment.
4. Your Family Members Can Receive Benefits, too.
Despite common beliefs, disability benefits aren’t only for disabled people or those who can no longer work. In most cases, family members of the disabled person can receive SSDI benefits too. Amongst this category are:
- A spouse, if they are at least 62 years old
- A spouse at any age if they are caring for your child
- A child who is under 18
- A disabled child over the age of 18
But you also need to keep in mind that even if you have several family members who should receive benefits, there’s a maximum amount of benefits that you can receive. Including your own benefit, this can be between 150% to 180% of the original benefits. The more family members you have that qualify for disability benefits, the fewer the benefits each member will receive.
It is understandable that when an individual is out of work, their ability to pay for an attorney is impacted. That is why Kahn and Associates takes most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not require any payment unless we are successful in securing benefits for you. To learn more about your rights under the Social Security Disability laws, call our FREE Disability Hotline at 1-866-4-MY-SSDI (469-7734) to speak with one of our friendly disability rights advocates who, once they obtain all the required information, will evaluate your claim in 60 seconds or less.You can alternatively fill out our FREE Disability Case Assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you immediately.