Social Security Disability Law
Social security disability law is a system of rules that are used to decide who qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The law also determines how much a person who qualifies for the benefits will receive.
SSDI and SSI are federal programs and therefore local and state laws don’t apply. The rules are available in the Social Security Act in Title 42 of the United States code. They can also be found in regulations and rulings of the Social Security Administration.
SSDI benefits are designed for adults who suddenly become disabled for a period of at least one year. The benefits are only applicable to people who have made sufficient payments into the system via payroll taxes and haven’t yet attained retirement age.
SSI, on the other hand, is meant for disabled people with minimal or no income at all regardless of whether they pay or don’t pay into the system. There are also provisions for disabled children.
What Are the Requirements for Getting Disability Benefits?
SSDI and SSI have very specific requirements. To qualify for SSDI, the applicant must have accumulated a specific number of work credits before he or she became disabled. The work credits are calculated according to your earnings.
Every time you earn a specific amount of wages or income through self-employment you receive one work credit. There’s a maximum of 4 work credits that you can earn in one calendar year. To qualify for SSDI benefits you must have accumulated a total of 40 credits, from which 20 must have been earned in the previous 10 years.
Another requirement for SSDI benefits is that you must also be disabled. SSA considers disability as a case where the person cannot continue working in their current field or work in another field of employment because of a severe medical impairment. You can qualify for the benefits due to a single impairment or a combination of multiple impairments. The inability to work must also be long-term and complete.
Eligibility for SSI benefits is based on income level rather than work credits. You qualify for SSI benefits if you have an income level that falls below a specific amount called the federal benefit rate or FBR. Federal Benefit Rate has a complex calculation that includes a portion of your income and other variables such as the value of in-kind services that you receive, for example, free meals and rent.
Getting social security disability benefits can be a daunting process. In fact, the Social Security Administration rejects every two out of three applicants. The process also takes a long time, in some cases two to three years from the day you file your application to the time your case is heard by an administrative law judge.
Do You Need an Attorney to Help You in the Process?
We highly recommend that you get a good lawyer with experience in this field of law. Administrative hearings often involve a huge amount of paperwork and strict deadlines that you must adhere to. A good lawyer will significantly improve and increase your chances of getting the best disability benefits.
At MyLawyerTree, we help people seeking reputable and experienced Social Security Disability lawyers find the best attorneys for legal counsel.
We have an easy, quick, and completely free process. Just contact us by phone, email, or text and we’ll connect you to a reputable attorney to handle your Social Security Disability claim.