If a disability leaves you unable to work, you may wonder how you’ll manage to pay living expenses. If you qualify, you may be able to obtain Social Security disability benefits to help you cover those expenses. This overview will help you understand more about what this assistance entails and how you can apply to receive it.
What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?
When you’re working, you may notice that your pay stub shows a deduction made to the Social Security Administration, which is typically identified as supplemental security income (SSI). This fund provides stipends for those who have reached retirement age but also offers benefits to those who have experienced a debilitating illness or injury that prevents them from returning to work. The latter part of the program is identified as Social Security disability insurance (SSDI).
SSDI eligibility depends on the nature of your condition, so you must be able to show that you are legally disabled. Once you pass that part of the application process, your attorney will help you obtain the maximum amount of benefits for which you qualify. This involves examining your work history and your most recent salary history to arrive at an average monthly pay. If your average monthly earnings equal $895 or lower, you’ll be eligible for 90% of that amount. If your monthly income is between $895 and $5,397, your eligible amount will be 32% of the average, and, if you make over $5,397 in a month, you’ll receive 15% of your average monthly income.
How Do You Apply for Benefits?
You can apply for Social Security disability benefits by visiting your local Social Security Administration office or, in some cases, going online. To qualify for the online application process, you must not have been married, you must not have received any benefits over the previous 60 days, and you must not have ever received SSI benefits. Additionally, you must be between the ages of 18 and 65.
To prepare for the application process, have the appropriate documents available. These should include your work history for the most recent 15 years, proof of your most recent earnings, a list of household assets, bank statements, proof of citizenship status, and military discharge papers. You will also need copies of your recent tax returns and transcripts of your medical records to provide evidence of your disability.
An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the application process for obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC, is located in La Crosse, WI, and has experience helping clients get the disability benefits they need. The firm also handles medical malpractice cases and other types of personal injury claims. To set up a free consultation, call (877) 784-1230. Go online to explore their services.