Social Security Disability Benefits in the US is designed to provide financial assistance to people who cannot work due to a physical or mental condition. It’s a federal insurance system funded from payroll tax and managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are wronged and need a Social Security Disability lawyer we can help.
Although it is a federal program, each state has different rules in administering social security benefits. Unlike other states, Florida doesn’t allow state-funded temporary disability benefits. This means that you can only avail of SSA disability benefits if your medical condition is expected to last for a year or more.
Which Social Security Benefits Should You Apply For?
The SSA offers two social security disability benefit programs: Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Knowing the right program to apply for will increase your chances of being approved.
Social Security Disability (SSDI)
If you have accumulated enough work credits and have paid the FICA Social Security Taxes, you are eligible for SSDI.
Work credits are computed depending on how long you’ve worked and your income. You can earn up to a maximum of 4 work credits a year. If you’re over 31 years old, your accumulated work credits must be at least 20 to qualify for SSDI. Lesser work credits are allowed for applicants 30 years and younger depending on how old they are when the disability started.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Unlike SSDI, this benefit is awarded based on financial need rather than work history. Thus if your work credits are lesser than the prescribed amount for SSDI, you can still apply for SSI. Apart from not having enough work credits, you must also be able to prove that you have limited source of income and assets.
Our top social security disability lawyers in Florida can help you determine better which of these programs you should apply for. Call us now for a free consultation.
What Conditions Are Considered for Disability?
In general, the SSA requires that your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did before or adjust to other types of work. It must also be expected to last for at least one year or result to death. Below are common types of medical conditions that are considered disabilities by the SSA:
- Musculoskeletal System Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech Impairment
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System Disorders
- Digestive System Disorders
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorders
Some medical conditions affect different people in different ways. The SSA will evaluate it based on the severity of impairment it causes on the individual rather than in general. This is why you need the expertise of good social security disability lawyers like us. We can help you obtain the proper evidentiary requirements to support your disability claim thus increasing your chances of getting approved.
How to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Florida
There are three ways to apply for social security disability benefits in Florida: online, in person or by phone.
Online application for SSDI requires that you are 18 years and older, not currently receiving any social security benefits and have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days.
Having the pertinent information will also make the online application process much easier. The system will ask for you and your spouse’s (current and former) social security number and date and place of birth. You also have to provide your date and place of marriage and date of divorce or death (if applicable). The names and birthdates of your minor children will also come in handy as well as your banking information. Details about your medical condition and work are needed too.
If you don’t qualify for online application and lives too far away or are not capable of traveling, you can always apply by phone. Just call 800-772-1213 or your local SSA office. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call 800-325-0778 to help you. Your social security disabilities lawyer can also do this for you. The SSA will still ask for your social security number to start your application.
You can also visit your local SSA office to submit your application in person. Make sure to call them beforehand for an appointment. They’re open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
If Your Application Gets Denied
If the SSA decides that you are not qualified for the social security benefit you’ve applied for, they will send you a notice saying so. Also in it are instructions on how to appeal the decision and the time period in which you are allowed to do so.
Appeals can be made online, by phone or by personally visiting their office. You may call 1-800-772-1213 toll free to request an appeal or schedule an appointment.
Or you can visit Victor Malca Law at our office for legal assistance on how to properly appeal your case. We have the best social security disability lawyers in Florida who are very much willing to offer free consultation. We also offer workers compensation lawyer services.
Social Security Disability Benefits Amount
How much social security disability benefits you can get depends on a variety of factors:
- your work and earnings history
- whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- you’re financial situation
- other sources of income
- the current year’s cost of living adjustment (COLA)
- number of dependents
- any backpays (if applicable)
For 2019, the COLA is set at 2.8%. This increases the maximum amount for SSI monthly benefits at $771 for individuals, $1,157 for couples and $386 for essential persons. If you have other sources of income, your benefits will be reduced.
If you qualify for SSDI benefits, the monthly amount you will receive will be based on your average lifetime earnings before you got disabled. The average monthly SSDI benefit for 2019 is $1,234. Maximum amounts tend to change every year. For 2019, it’s $2,861.
It’s hard to determine the exact amount you will get before your application is approved. The SSA uses a complicated formula to compute the benefits for each person. This is why social security benefit amounts tend to vary significantly for each individual. Although, you can get a rough estimate of how much you can get by using the SSA’s social security disability benefit quick calculator.
When Benefits are Reduced
Your social security benefits will be reduced if you have other source of income or are receiving other government-regulated disability benefits.
The Social Security Disability Benefits application process involves a series of complicated steps governed by different departments. This makes it rather hard to track and check the application of your status. Hiring a social security disability lawyer with a proven track record will help you easily keep track of your application status and hasten the process.
If you want to do it yourself, here are three ways to check your social security disability application status:
- Online – If you filed your application online, you may also keep track of it’s status in the SSA’s website.
- Calling your local SSA Office (there are 51 in Florida)
- Reaching out to the disability examiner who’s been assigned to evaluate your case. You can get the information from the Disability Determination Services (DDS).
Social Security Office Location in Plantation, Florida
Social Security Administration – Plantation Office
8501 W Sunrise Blvd ste 100, Plantation, FL 33322, USA