Disability Insurance Benefits
There are two general types of Social Security Disability benefits – Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Disability Insurance Benefits allow individuals who have worked at least five of the last ten years and have paid the necessary Social Security taxes to withdraw their money if they become disabled. According to its regulations, Social Security finds that a person is disabled if they are unable to perform any substantial gainful activity because of a proven medical condition which has lasted or is expected to last at least twelve consecutive months.
Supplemental Security Income is a type of federal supplement program and is meant for individuals who do not qualify for Disability Insurance Benefits. In order to receive Supplemental Security Income payments, a person must meet the disability criteria as well as certain financial requirements.
Social Security checks will rise by 1.7% — which translates into $22 more each month for the average retired worker.
In 2015, the average worker will receive $1,328 a month, or $15,936 a year, according to the Social Security Administration.
Next year’s annual cost of living increase is up from 1.5% this year, but still less than 2012’s increase of 3.6%. Seniors received no increases to their benefits for two years prior as prices fell due to the recession.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
You must file an application for benefits by calling your local Social Security District Office, calling 1-800-772-1213, or filing at www.ssa.gov. We recommend you make copies of any paperwork you submit to Social Security and that you ask for a printed receipt when you submit documents at their office.
How long does it take the Social Security Administration to make a decision on my claim?
If you are denied, you may file an appeal. You have sixty days to file a Request for Reconsideration or a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If you miss the deadline, you may be required to file a new application. A claim may be awarded at any level; generally, it may take the average individual 12–18 months to get a final decision on their claim at the hearing level.
Do I need a lawyer?
There is no requirement that you hire an attorney. However, the process of getting awarded benefits can be difficult and confusing. At Jenkins Block & Associates, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources available to assist you in getting the benefits you deserve.
When can an attorney begin helping me with my claim?
Once you have filed an application for benefits, we can begin helping you with your claim. You do not have to wait for a denial from the Social Security Administration to get help from Jenkins Block & Associates.
Is there a fee for handling my claim?
There is no fee unless we win your case.
How long do I have to wait to apply for benefits after I become unable to work?
You may file an application immediately if you have a condition that prevents you from working and is expected to last at least 12 months. You DO NOT have to wait until you have been out of work for 12 months to apply for benefits. You may apply as soon as you stop working. If you have any questions, contact our office for assistance.
I am unable to go back to my last job, but there are other jobs I may be able to do. Does Social Security give partial disability benefits?
No. An individual must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity in order to qualify for benefits.
What is substantial gainful activity?
We would be happy to review your work history and abilities and how this may affect your eligibility for benefits.
My current job is paying me long-term disability benefits because of my medical condition. Should I still apply for my Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits?
Many people who are getting long-term disability benefits apply for SSD benefits at the same time. If you are getting long-term disability benefits, call Jenkins Block & Associates to talk about your options.
What if I lose my case at the hearing level?
You will still have the option of filing an appeal at the Appeals Council and Federal Court. At Jenkins Block & Associates, we handle claims at both levels.
Could I get back pay from Social Security?
Yes. If you are found eligible for benefits, the Social Security Administration will determine when your benefits should have started. Disability Insurance Benefits may be paid back as far as one year before the date of the initial application.
Could my children be eligible for benefits under my social security number?
If you are found eligible for benefits and you have minor children under the age of 18, they may also be eligible for auxiliary benefits.
If this is your first time filing, you have been denied, or if you just want to see if you are eligible for Disability Insurance Benefits, our experienced lawyers have the answers to all of your questions. Call us at 1-800-243-2439 and Get JBA First.