Social Security Claims
What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security is the federal program that provides retirement, disability, survivor, family assistance and Medicare benefits. The program is funded by earmarked taxes withheld from employees’ pay checks, matching funds from employers and taxes from self-employed individuals. Social Security benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and governed by the Social Security Act.
The Social Security Act’s Definition of “Disability”
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, a person must be “disabled” according to the definition provided by the federal Social Security Act. A person is disabled if he or she:
- Has a medical condition that is expected to last at least a year, has lasted at least a year or is expected to result in death, and
- Is unable to work because of the medical condition
- The person must not be able to the do work she did previously or any other type of substantial gainful activity that she is qualified to do.
Frequently Asked Questions About SSDI
Q: How Does Social Security Disability Income Work?
A: SSDI is part of Social Security, which provides a “safety net” of benefits for workers in times of need. You pay into Social Security via a payroll tax. Once you have worked long enough to have paid a certain amount of this tax, you become eligible for certain benefits. One such program is SSDI. To get social security disability income benefits, you must have a disability that:
• Keeps you from doing your job
• Keeps you from doing another job
• Is expected to last at least a year or result in death
Q: How do you apply for Social Security Disability Income?
A: You apply for SSDI through Social Security, but the approval process is handled at the state level. South Carolina disability lawyers know the nuances of how this works in your state. They can guide you through the application process and appeal, if needed.
Q: Are there other Social Security assistance programs?
A: Yes, you may qualify for:
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—This federal aid program is funded by general tax dollars, so there is no work requirement as with SSDI.
• South Carolina State Insurance Fund (GASIF)—This state program offers temporary benefits to workers who become ill or injured off the job, or who suffer complications related to pregnancy.
Types of Social Security Claim Cases
There are five major types of disability benefits are available under the Social Security Act. Each one has its own rules for qualification, which can be complicated. Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provide benefits. SSDI is based on the applicant’s work history and disability while SSI is based on the applicant’s income and disability, old age or blindness. SSDI: Disability Insurance benefits are paid to people who have worked long enough to earn sufficient credits under the Social Security system but are now disabled.
Disabled Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Divorced Spouse
SSDI: Disabled Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Divorced Spouse benefits are paid to people who meet certain age and other requirements. The deceased spouse must have been insured through his or her work record for the living spouse to qualify for coverage.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI: Supplemental Security Income benefits are paid to low-income recipients who are disabled, blind or elderly and have limited resources.
Social Security Insurance for Childhood Disability
SSDI: Childhood Disability benefits are paid to people who are at least 18 years old and became disabled prior to the age of 22. The payment to the child is based on the earnings record of a qualified parent who is retired, disabled or deceased.
SSI: Child’s Disability benefits are paid to children up to age 18 who are disabled or blind and whose families meet certain criteria concerning income and resources.
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