Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits FAQ

1. Who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits?

In order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, applicants must meet several requirements. First, prospective recipients must have worked a job or several jobs that are covered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In addition, applicants must have a medical condition that satisfies the definition of disability as specified by the SSA. Generally, eligibility requirements establish that applicants must be unable to work for one year or more due to their disability to qualify.

2. How can I find out if I have Social Security benefits qualifications?

While the Social Security Administration ultimately decides who will receive Social Security benefits, applicants can check if they meet the requirements. One way that residents can check their eligibility is by calculating the amount of work credits they have accumulated during their years of working. They can do this using the SSA’s work credit guidelines. Additionally, applicants can identify if their condition is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration’s standards. However, it is important to understand that Social Security benefits eligibility is depend on multiple factors and that residents must apply for the program find out if they meet requirements.

3. Where can I submit my SSDI application?

An SSDI application can be submitted through various methods. However, residents must ensure that they submit their documents to the Social Security Administration. One method that prospective beneficiaries can submit their applications is online through the SSA portal. Alternatively, they can call the toll-free number or make an appointment at a local Social Security office.

4. Do I need to apply for a Social Security card to receive disability insurance?

U.S. citizens are not required to apply for a Social Security card if they already possess one. However, they must provide their Social Security Number (SSN) when completing an application for benefits. Conversely, applicants who are not citizens of the US and thus, do not have an SSN, can apply using other valid documents.

5. Can I receive both Social Security disability benefits and SSI?

Many residents who qualify for Social Security disability benefits also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. In many instances, applicants can receive financial benefits from both programs. However, SSI benefits are primarily reserved for residents with low incomes. As a result, not all applicants with disabilities qualify for Supplemental Security Income.

6. How is disability defined by the Social Security Administration?

There are several criteria that applicants must meet in order to satisfy Social Security disability requirements. First, you must either not be working or be earning less than a specified amount per month. Furthermore, your condition must be considered severe. This means that your condition must significantly reduce your ability to perform basic work activities for at least 12 months. Other requirements that applicants must meet in order to meet the definition of disability include:

  • Having a condition that is on the SSA’s list of severe medical conditions.
  • Being unable to do work that they were able to do prior to their disability.
  • The inability to do any other type of work due to the disability.  

7. How much can I receive in Social Security disability benefits?

The amount that beneficiaries can receive in benefits depends on numerous factors. The primary component that determines your monthly benefit is the amount of work credits that you have accumulated during working years. Furthermore, being a recipient of other government assistance programs can affect the amount that you receive in Social Security benefits.  

8. Can I work while receiving SSDI benefits?

In order to qualify for these benefits, applicants must meet specific work requirements. As per the Social Security Administration, residents with disabilities are eligible for benefits while working as long as they do not earn more than $1,220 per month. Otherwise, they will not satisfy Social Security disability requirements. However, applicants who are blind or have low vision can still be eligible if they make $2,040 per month.

9. Why was my SSDI application denied?

There are many reasons for an SSDI application denial. One main reason is that applicants do not satisfy the SSA’s definition of disability. There are several components to this definition and prospective recipients can fail to meet more than one criteria.

Additionally, an application may be denied if you have not worked enough to qualify for benefits. Moreover, if you do not have total disability, you may also be rejected. The SSA does not pay benefits for short-term or partial disability.

10. How do I appeal an SSDI application decision?

Residents can appeal an SSDI application denial by submitting a request for reconsideration to the SSA. This can be for a medical or non-medical determination. Typically, applicants have 60 days from the date that they receive their notice to ask for an appeal.

Conversely, residents who were denied benefits can also request to have a hearing with an administrative law judge. If the judge denies the request, applicants can then request a review by the SSA Appeals Council.

11. What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?

Many residents seeking disability benefits inquire about the differences between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The greatest difference between the two programs is eligibility criteria. SSI applicants must meet income requirements while those seeking SSDI must meet work credit and disability requirements. Furthermore, benefits are restricted to residents with disabilities while SSI is available to a broader range of applicants.

12. When should I apply for SSDI benefits?

Residents should apply for these benefits as soon as they become disabled. Because application processing can take several months, applicants are encouraged to submit their documents as soon as possible.

13. How long will I have to wait to receive my Social Security disability benefits?

After applying for benefits, residents may be required to wait several months until they receive a decision. However, the process can take more or less time depending on an applicant’s unique situation. For instance, the amount of time it takes for the Social Security Administration to receive and review medical evidence can impact when you obtain a decision.