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“We have the experience and THE resources you need to build a strong case for benefits.”
G. Donald Golden Esq.
Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security History:
Eligibility for SSD is based on a formula in which the amount of Social Security taxes the applicant has previously paid must exceed a threshold determined by the duration of his or her past employment. Applicants falling short in this category can only apply for Supplemental Security Income; however, we encourage clients who do qualify for SSD to also apply for SSI.
Capacity to Work:
Not only must an applicant prove that an injury or illness has prevented them from performing the basic functions of their job for at least a year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is also required to determine whether that individual is capable of performing any other type of work which can provide income adequate to sustain them, based on individual factors such as the applicant’s age, education, past employment experience, transferable work skills, and the nature of the health issue under review.
While certain conditions (such as total blindness) can automatically qualify as disabling, an applicant’s generally must document that the illness or injury both exists and is sufficiently long-term, meaning that it has impaired their ability to work for at least a year.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Income (SSD/SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
SSD and SSI are completely separate government programs. SSD benefits are offered to disabled individuals who have earned enough income to have their benefits covered, at least in part, through contributions they have made through FICA Social Security taxes – one of the withholding taxes you see on your paycheck. There is often a significant waiting period before SSD benefits are received. SSI benefits are offered to individuals with little to no income. Therefore, many people eligible for SSI benefits are also eligible for Medicare and food stamps. Individuals who receive SSI benefits will generally receive them much sooner.
Especially for SSD benefits, and sometimes SSDI benefits, the process for qualifying can prove complex. Applications, medical reports, and income information can take time and energy to compile. Learn more about qualifying for benefits here.
In Florida, the Division of Disability Determination will decide whether you are disabled and eligible for benefits. Again, this is a complex process involving a number of factors and lots of information. Among the factors the Division will look at: whether you are working, and for how long; if you condition meets a disability listing; and the severity of your condition.
In an ideal world with a fair and efficient government bureaucracy, you would simply submit an application and your benefits would start arriving in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, this is not the way the process goes for too many applicants. With complex processes and requirements, it is advisable to obtain competent legal counsel. Learn more about why you may need a lawyer to obtain SSD or SSDI benefits here.