Disability Benefit FAQs

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Looking for More Information on SSD or SSI

Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered about getting on SSD or SSI? If you suffer from a disability or a condition that makes working impossible you may be thinking about getting disability benefits. However, getting on SSD and especially SSI is a difficult process that can take not just months but years to qualify for. The best way to get approved? Have plenty of documentation. And sometimes a lawyer. Although it may seem overwhelming, getting SSDI or SSI is possible to do on your own without the help of a lawyer. 

Video Guide to Disability Benfits

Do I Qualify for SSD or SSI?

What are Qualifying Disabilities?

types of disabilities

Qualifying disabilities for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income can be hard to understand. There are many different types and even having one might not be enough to qualify for disability. For example, you may be in a wheelchair, but if you are under a certain age and able to take a desk job, you may not be qualified.

Yes. However, you would need to meet the SSA guidelines for the disability. To meet these qualifications you will need to meet with both your therapist and doctor to discuss your inability. They will be able to help you collect the documentation you need to present your case.

It can be hard to qualify for social security disability with a mental disorder. This type of disability requires a lot of documentation and consulting with both your doctor and your therapist.

Proving a disability is mostly about providing the correct documentation. For example, your doctor may need to run certain tests and provide you with documentation of the results.

Disability Types

Musculoskeletal System

This is generally defined as a bone or joint deformity. This condition might hinder someone’s ability to walk or perform necessary motor functions for a job.

Respiratory Disorders

This could include coughing blood or being required to carry oxygen.

Cardiovascular Disorders

These are ones that affect the heart and might make working dangerous.

Digestive Disorders

This includes inflammatory bowel disorder and liver dysfunction.

Genitourinary disorders

They are a dysfunction of the kidneys.

Hematological Disorders

These affect bone marrow and blood.

Skin Disorders

This category is reserved for conditions such as severe burns or skin that’s susceptible to chronic infection.

Immune System Disorders

These may cause recurrent infection or severe fatigue.

Senses and speech

This applies to those who are deaf, blind or suffer from aphasia.

Endocrine Disorders

These are hormonal imbalances such as thyroid gland issues.

Congenital disorders

This is often used as the category to evaluate those with non-mosaic Down syndrome.

Neurological Disorders

This includes disorders such as epilepsy or coma.

Mental Disorders.

The SSA puts this category down into 11 subcategories. neurocognitive, psychotic, depressive, intellectual, anxiety, somatic, personality, autism, neurodevelopmental, eating disorders, and trauma related disorders.

SSA Blue Book

Learn More About Qualifying Disabilities and Requirements

Is SSD or SSI Worth Getting?

How Much Do You Get from Disability?

ssd disability benefit amount

Not sure how much you might get from SSD or SSI? It might depend on how much you’re making right now or how much you were making before your injury. However, before you decide, SSD is the preferred option for a reason. SSI is unlikely to pay you as much, is harder to qualify for, but may accept you without work history.

The amount that you may receive monthly depends on your average lifetime earnings before your disability took effect. Most people will get around $800 to $1800 a month. In 2019, the average settlement amount nationally was $1,234.

The base rate for SSI is  $771 a month. However, most people make less and in some cases more than this. SSI can reduce your payment for money you bring in from a secondary source. For instance, if you are getting money from friends or family or receive assisted living. If you are working you can keep the first $65 + half of what’s left. In some states you can get additional payments for cost of living. This ranges from $10 – $400

Through the SSA’s Ticket to Work Program the disability department attempts to help you continue to find work despite a disability. However, you may lose your benefits if you are an SSI recipient or if you make too much to continue SSD. 


"SSDI is the preferred option but for those who can’t meet its requirements, SSI becomes the next best option."
disability benefit process

Can I Do this on my own?

What is the Process of Applying for SSD / SSI?

The process for SSD and SSI starts out the same. You discover that you have a disability that is preventing you from working. Next, you go to the doctor and talk about your options and run tests to determine if you need disability. Your doctor will evaluate your results and determine if you can perform in your existing job or any type of job in the future. If you are applying with a mental disorder then there are a few more steps to consider with your therapist. Finally, you should have been able to collect enough evidence from your doctor to present your case. However, most people are denied at this step and may need to contact a disability lawyer.

denied disability benefits

Is this the end?

What Happens If I'm Denied Disability Benefits?

Getting denied disability is a common problem and one that most people who apply for disability will deal with. One thing you may not be prepared for is the long waits in between applying and being denied. Although you may expect the 6 month wait time after the initial application you might not be prepared to wait even longer on your second attempt. Many people can wait years in the process. However, talking to a lawyer if you feel unsure or after being denied can help you to speed up the process.

When DO I Need a Lawyer?

As we said previously, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to apply but they can come in handy if you’re attempting to avoid a long wait period or you’ve denied in the past. A social security disability lawyer will look over your case and help you collect all the evidence you need.

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