Disability » How to Apply for Federal Disability Benefits

How to Apply for Federal Disability Benefits

Did you know that you paid federal disability benefits for more than 10 million people?

If you’ve been dealing with rough medical conditions, then you may be contemplating claiming Social Security Disability Insurance.

This is doubly true if you’ve had to stop working due to a disability or a severe medical condition (SSDI). Yet, what are your odds of getting benefits approved? No worries, you’ve come to the right place to answer this question.

Keep on reading for our full breakdown of applying for benefits and understanding federal disability benefits. We’ll also explore the different approval rates.

Federal Disability Benefits 101

Let’s start with some of the basics. First, you should apply as soon as possible. The moment you become disabled is the best time to send in your application.

The waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is five months. This means payments will not commence until the sixth complete month of disability. The SSDI waiting period starts the first full month after we determine your disability started.

If your impairment is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and you are accepted for SSDI payments on or after July 23, 2020, there is no waiting period.

SSI disability payments are sent out for the first full month after you submit your claim. Or for the first full month after you become eligible for SSI, whichever comes first.

How to Start Applying for Benefits

You can apply for disability benefits online.

Alternatively, if you cannot apply online, you may phone 1-800-772-1213 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to apply.

SSDI Cases and Payments: How Are They Calculated?

The amount of SSDI payments you get is unaffected by the severity of your impairment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will calculate your payout. It’s based on your lifetime average wages before being incapacitated.

The amount of your reward will be determined by your covered earnings. These are your earnings from employment. Where your employer deducted Social Security or FICA contributions from your pay.

Your SSDI monthly compensation is calculated using your average covered earnings over time. This is often known as your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates your main insurance amount. They use a formula based on these figures (PIA).

This is the starting point for calculating your benefit.

The typical monthly SSDI payout is between $800 and $1,800. In 2020, the highest benefit you may get was $3,011 per month.

Other Income That Might Decrease Your Payments

Your monthly SSDI payment may be decreased if you receive other government assistance. The following sources of income may have an impact on your payment:

  • Public disability benefits
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as a government or foreign government pension

Depending on your case, there might be other payments that might reduce your payment amounts. So, you might want to get a social security disability lawyer like www.heardandsmith.com assigned to your case. This way you can get the highest payment possible.

Can You Receive Retroactive Payments?

You may be eligible for back pay once the SSA accepts your SSDI application and calculates your monthly payment.

The number of months you will receive payments is determined by the date you filed for benefits and when your impairment began.

Applying for Both SSDI and SSI

Some individuals apply for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments (known as “concurrent benefits”).

SSI is a need-based program for individuals with disabilities who have low or no income or assets. Although medical eligibility is the same for both programs, SSI is a need-based program for persons with disabilities who have little or no income or assets.

SSDI applicants may obtain SSI payments in addition to SSDI benefits. Especially if their SSDI benefits are so low that they satisfy the SSI financial eligibility criteria.

The extra SSI payments will bring their monthly checks up to the SSI limit if their applications for both programs are accepted. According to 2019 government statistics, 10% of individuals receiving disability payments also received other benefits (while 62% received only SSDI).

SSDI Approval Rates

SSDI is a government insurance program for individuals who have worked for a specified length of time and paid taxes before becoming disabled. When you apply for SSDI, Social Security will look at your employment history to see whether you fulfill the criteria. If you don’t, you’ll be given a “technical rejection.” This means your application will be approved or denied depending on the severity of your medical condition.

During the initial application process, many candidates were refused SSDI compensation. If it seems depressing, there are a few key things to bear in mind. First and foremost, the number of rejections comprises those who applicants turned down due to a lack of job experience or recent employment (or because they were working when they applied).

According to official data for 2018 SSDI applications, 45% of applicants were denied due to technological issues. Government data shows a 41% approval rate for first judgments made only for medical grounds.

Second, you may seek a hearing before an administrative law judge to challenge a medical rejection (albeit most states require applicants first to obtain a reconsideration review).

According to our study, the odds of receiving benefits increase substantially after a court reviews your case.

About more than half (55%) of applicants who proceeded to a hearing were accepted for SSDI at that point in the process. This is near twice as many as those who received authorization at the beginning. As a result, applicants who are qualified for a hearing lose a fair chance of receiving benefits if they give up or miss the time for submitting an appeal.

Ready to Get Your Disability Benefits?

In the midst of dealing with a disability, trying to apply for federal disability benefits can be rather overwhelming.

We hope that our guide has shed some light on the different rates of acceptance and the nuances of the application process. And, if you’re still running short on necessary information, you can check out our legal section for all the additional tips and tricks you could need.

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