Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two programs that provide government assistance for people who cannot work due to a severe medical condition. Each program has different rules to qualify.
A Sunbury, OH Social Security Disability lawyer from Berger and Green can guide you through the application and evaluation process. The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies most initial applications. You might have to go through several stages of the appeals process to get the benefits you need. You can call us today at (412) 661-1400 to find out how we can help you. The initial consultation is free.
The Requirements to Get SSDI Benefits
The SSA guidelines say that you must meet the following criteria to qualify for SSDI benefits.
Have Enough Work Credits
You get work credits by working at jobs that pay Social Security taxes. You can earn up to four work credits per year.
Be Unable to Support Yourself
You must have a significant disease or injury that prevents you from working to support yourself. If you can still work enough to make what the SSA considers a living wage, then the SSA will likely deny your application for SSDI benefits.
Have a Limited Income
You cannot earn more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit for purposes of SSDI benefits. The SGA limit can change every year. According to the SSA, the monthly SGA limit for 2020 is $1,260 for non-blind and $2,110 for statutorily blind individuals. If you are making more than the SGA limit, the SSA will say that you do not need benefits.
Have a Qualifying Medical Condition
You must have a medical condition that satisfies the severity tests the SSA uses to determine whether your illness or injury is significant enough to get assistance. The SSA uses what is called “the Blue Book” to measure the severity of hundreds of medical conditions in every part and system of the body.
Be Unable to Change Careers
You need to prove that you would not be able to support yourself through employment. The older you are when you become disabled, the less likely you are to be required to change your career or line of work.
You will have to provide the type of medical evidence that the SSA requires for your diagnosis, like your medical records, test results, x-rays, and information about how your condition has responded to treatment.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Sunbury, call (412) 661-1400
The Eligibility Rules for the SSI Program
If you are disabled and cannot work, you might qualify for SSI benefits, even if you do not have enough work credits to be eligible for SSDI.
The SSA notes that a person must have a very low income and few financial resources to be eligible for SSI. A person in this category may qualify for other forms of state and federal government assistance, like Medicaid.
Not all income that a person receives counts for purposes of SSI eligibility. The countable income will reduce the amount of an individual’s monthly SSI check. A person whose total countable income equals or exceeds the Federal Benefit Rate will not receive SSI.
According to the SSA, a person’s countable assets must not be more than $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. The house where you live, one vehicle, your clothing, household goods, and a few other items do not count toward the resource limit.
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Your Options If You Do Not Meet the Criteria in the Blue Book
Meeting the criteria in the Blue Book is not always possible. If your condition does not meet the specifics of the listing, you may have another option.
You can ask your doctor to evaluate you to determine your residual functional capacity or a determination of your residual functional capacity can be made by reviewing your medical records. Your residual functional capacity is your ability to perform work-related tasks, such as sitting, standing, squatting, and lifting.
Your residual functional capacity will help determine how long you can work, how often you can work, and what type of work you are able to do.
If your doctor finds that you are unable to work, the SSA may deem you disabled.
At Berger and Green, a Sunbury, OH Social Security Disability lawyer can handle the application and appeals process. We can help you determine whether you meet the impairment listing or whether you might need to have a determination of your residual functional capacity. You can call us today at (412) 661-1400 to find out how we can help you recover your benefits.
Getting Help with Your Sunbury, OH Social Security Disability Claim
You should not have to fight with the government to get the benefits that you need. The law does not force you to work with an attorney on your SSDI or SSI application and appeals, but doing so ensures that you have someone on your side and improves your chances of getting benefits.
You do not have to face this experience alone. A Sunbury, OH Social Security Disability lawyer from Berger and Green can take care of all aspects of your disability claim on your behalf. You can call us today at (412) 661-1400.
We handle Social Security Disability cases on a contingency-fee basis. This means that we do not accept any upfront fees and you do not pay us attorney’s fees unless and until you receive your disability benefits. You face no financial risk when you enlist the help of our team.
Let us get started on your case today with a free, no-obligation consultation.