The Social Security Administration processes millions of monthly payments in Social Security Disability benefits. Some people receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, others receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, and some receive a combination of both disability benefits.
Whether you qualify for one or more of these programs depends on whether you meet each program’s specific eligibility requirements. A Sharon Supplemental Security Income lawyer on our team can help determine your eligibility for each program and apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
Although both programs require you to meet the Social Security Administration (SSA) definition of disability to receive benefits, other qualifications for each program are quite different.
While SSDI eligibility stems from your work history and Social Security taxes paid, SSI eligibility rests on your household income and assets limitations. At Berger and Green, we understand these programs’ intricacies and how you should approach the application process.
You can learn more about whether you may be eligible for any form of Social Security Disability benefits in a free consultation.
Qualifying for Benefits Under the SSA Definition of Disability
A successful award of Social Security Disability benefits requires that you meet the SSA’s definition of disability. You must meet this definition of disability to receive benefits under either the SSDI or SSI programs.
C.F.R. § 404.1505 states that disability is “the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
A medically determinable impairment results from abnormalities, as established by clinical and laboratory diagnostic measures. The medical evidence must show a clear diagnosis of an impairment that makes the person unable to do any substantial gainful activity (SGA).
The SSA presumes that you are capable of SGA if you currently are earning more than a specific amount each month. Monthly SGA amounts adjust along with changes to the national average wage index.
For a free legal consultation with a supplemental security income lawyer serving Sharon, call 412-661-1400
SSI Income and Resource Limits
Even if you meet the definition of disability, you also must meet other requirements to be eligible for SSI. SSI eligibility depends on whether your income and resources fall below certain limits. SSI is for disabled persons with low income, few assets, and little or no work history.
SSI Income Limits
The SSA says that to qualify for SSI benefits in 2021, you cannot make more than:
- $2,190 a month if you are blind
- $1,310 a month if you are not blind
If you are making more than these established amounts, then you may not qualify for SSI benefits. However, depending on your situation, you could qualify for SSDI benefits.
Berger and Green can evaluate your monthly wages to determine which program best suits your situation.
SSI Resource Limits
SSI does not only take into account your monthly wages; it also takes into account your financial resources, which include the things that you own. The Social Security Administration says that the following things will not factor into your eligibility for benefits:
- Your house and the land it sits on
- One vehicle
- Your personal effects
- Your life insurance policies
- Burial plots for you and your family members
Other things will not be taken into account when estimating the value of your financial resources.
Additionally, the SSA will also consider your marital status when evaluating your application. If you are single, you can have no more than $2,000 in countable assets. If you are married, you cannot have more than $3,000 in assets.
A Sharon Supplemental Security Income lawyer from our firm can help you understand these resource limits and whether you qualify for SSI benefits.
If you are interested in learning more, you can call Berger and Green today for a free case review.
Sharon Supplemental Security Income Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Stages of a Disability Claim
You apply for Social Security Disability by filling out an application for SSDI, SSI, or both, as they have two separate applications. Once you have applied, SSA staff will evaluate your application to see if you qualify for either program. You then will receive an approval or denial letter in the mail.
If you receive a denial, then the appeals process could entail the following stages, per the SSA:
- Reconsideration, where someone who did not take part in the initial reviews your application to give a second opinion
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), where your case goes to court, and a judge determines if you can receive benefits
- Request for review by the Appeals Council, where they will decide if another ALJ should review your case again
- Federal court review, where you can file a lawsuit in federal district court to get the benefits to which you are entitled
Your application could be approved at any one of these stages. It does not necessarily need to move through all four stages for you to get an approval.
We Can Help You with Your Case
Understanding the eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability can be challenging. You may be unfamiliar with the lengthy process of applying for and appealing the denial of benefits.
Our Sharon Supplemental Security Income lawyer can help you provide the SSA with all necessary medical evidence to support your disability claim.
When you receive a denial of your Social Security Disability claim, you only have a limited period to appeal. Berger and Green can help you avoid the risk of missing crucial deadlines in the claims process. Call us today at (412) 661-1400 and get started on your Social Security Disability claim.