Social Security is a vital protection under our federal government that protects us not only in our retirement years but whenever we become injured and too disabled to work. Under Social Security, people who are disabled can collect disability insurance (SSDI) and in some cases supplemental income (SSI).
Unfortunately, people who need this money are often denied their initial application. Learn what to do if you’re denied Social Security disability, how the system works, your rights under the law, and how an attorney can help.
Social Security Disability (SSDI)
SSDI insurance is available to those who become disabled and have built up enough credits with the Social Security Administration to be eligible. The number of required credits depends largely on your age and when you suffer your disability. It is based on a percentage of work performed during five out of the past ten years.
SSDI payments are based on your overall record of earnings, with payments ranging on average between $1,000 per month and $1,200 per month. Those who have paid higher FICA taxes can earn higher benefits.
When you collect SSDI for 2 years, you become eligible to sign up for Medicare even if you are under the age of 65. Before then, if your income is low enough, you can collect Medicaid.
Supplemental Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income programs, though administered by the SSA, are cooperative with the state. In North Carolina it is available to those who live in adult care facilities and payments can range up to $554 per month or $887 per month for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
This money is in addition to that available from the federal government, which amounts to $735 every month for an individual. The numbers for couples can be higher, and those for essential persons are lower. If you’re eligible for SSI, you are also eligible for Medicare.
Collecting SSI requires applicants to be over 65, blind or disabled, to be citizens or meet certain restrictions for permanent residency, political asylum, refugee status or military service, and you must be of low income and own less than $2,000 in property (not counting things like car and home).
When You’re Denied Social Security Disability
There are any number of reasons why Social Security disability benefits might be denied. Usually, it’s because your injury doesn’t easily fit into the narrow boxes the SSA uses to define disability. They use their own examiners and experts to review your claim and look for things like “residual functional capacity,” meaning you can still do other kinds of work.
The good news if you’re denied is that it’s not necessarily over. You can still challenge the denial and get the benefits you need. You will, however, need experienced help in proving your injury, and that it has served to create a disability.
Hiring a Social Security Attorney
The best way to fight a denial of SSDI or SSI benefits is to seek help from a qualified Social Security attorney like those at Mike Lewis Attorneys. An attorney will be able to offer you guidance and help you take the next step in getting the benefits you deserve. For more information or a free case evaluation, get in touch with us today!