Social Security Disability FAQ
Helpful Information for Disabled New Yorkers
If you are interested in applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may have numerous questions about eligibility, how to file a claim and what benefits you may be entitled to receive. At Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik, LLP we are highly experienced in representing the disabled and elderly in SSDI and SSI claims. Because this is a complex subject, we have included several frequently asked questions and answers below. If you still have more questions or would simply like to speak directly with a professional about your claim, we welcome you to contact our office to schedule a consultation with an attorney.
Who is eligible for SSDI benefits?
SSDI benefits are available for workers who have become disabled and can no longer work. You must meet two main requirements to be eligible for this type of Social Security disability. First, you must meet work requirements. You must have worked recently enough and earned enough work credits (based off your yearly income). Second, you must have a qualifying disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.
What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides benefits for disabled adults and children who meet certain financial requirements. SSI benefits are also available for people aged 65 and older who meet financial requirements. The purpose of this program is to offer disabled and elderly people with minimal financial resources the support they need to survive.
What Social Security disability benefits may I be able to receive?
Depending on your age, disability and income level, you may be able to receive SSI or SSDI benefits. Your SSDI benefit amount will vary depending on your age, the extent of disability, the number of years you worked and how much money you earned while employed.
When should I apply?
You should take action and apply as soon as you can after you become disabled. According to the SSA website, it may take three to five months for SSDI applications to be processed. Acting quickly and providing the SSA with all necessary information can help ensure your claim is processed in a timely manner.
How do I know if I have a qualifying disability?
The SSA will determine whether you are disabled and should receive benefits. They will consider whether you are currently working, the severity of your medical condition, whether your condition is included on the List of Impairments, whether you can perform the work you once performed and whether you can work at all. You will need to provide sufficient evidence of your disability through medical records.
What if my claim is denied? Do I have options to appeal this decision?
Nearly two-thirds of all Social Security disability claims are denied by the SSA each year. If your claim was denied, you are not alone. There are several steps you can take to have your claim reconsidered, starting with a request for reconsideration and then continuing with a hearing by an administrative law judge, a review by the Appeals Council and finally a Federal Court review.
Will other benefit payments affect my ability to receive Social Security disability benefits?
If you are currently receiving benefits from other government programs, this may impact the amount of Social Security benefits you are able to receive. The SSA offers helpful information on this topic: How Workers' Compensation And Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits.
What happens if I want to return to work?
You may still be able to receive disability benefits after returning to work, for a certain amount of time. The Ticket to Work program and other incentives offered by the SSA are meant to help disabled workers find employment once again.