Planning to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits in Florida? Here are some important facts you need to know.
There Are No Temporary or Partial Disability Benefits
Unlike workers’ compensation, there are no temporary or partial social security disability benefits. The SSA has a strict definition of disability. According to them, a medical condition can only be considered a disability if it meets the following:
- it’s expected to last at least a year or result in death
- it prevents you from going back to work or adjusting to any other type of work
Because of this strict definition, most SSD beneficiaries are among those most severely impaired.
1 in 4 People Become Disabled Before Retirement
If you think you’re too young to get disabled, then you’re sorely wrong. Disability can happen to anyone regardless of their age. Based on SSA data, one in four people gets disabled before reaching retirement age.
This is partly because the SSA has now recognized disorders that mostly plague younger working-age Americans. This includes mental disorders such as:
- anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders
- depressive, bipolar and related disorders
- eating disorders
How You Got Disabled Doesn’t Matter
In workers’ compensation, how you got disabled plays a big role in determining your benefits. But with social security benefits, the circumstances of your disability won’t matter.
You only need to prove that your disability meets the SSA’s criteria. There is no need to show that you got your injury while doing your job.
SSD Payments Are Modest
Social security disability (SSD) benefits are supposed to support disabled workers financially. Unfortunately, most of the time, SSD payments are not enough to cover every expense.
In 2019, the average monthly disability payment is only $1,234. This is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the poverty line, especially in urban areas.
Of course, there are ways to stretch out your disability benefits to make ends meet. Various state welfare programs are also available for disability beneficiaries. In Florida, you can apply for the Temporary Cash Assistance Program, Optional State Supplementation (OSS) Program or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program.
You Can Work While Receiving Benefits
A common misconception about SSD benefits is that it will stop once you get back to work. It’s not strictly true. The payments will only stop if you are already earning an income that is equal to or more than what you used to earn.
In fact, the SSA has a service called “Ticket to Work Program”. It’s aimed towards beneficiaries who are either planning to go back to work or are already working but has no idea how it will affect their benefits.
An important thing to remember is to keep the SSA updated of your earnings while you’re receiving benefits.
It’s Possible to Receive Workers Comp and SSD Benefits At The Same Time
Yes, you can claim social security disability benefits while receiving workers’ compensation provided you qualify for both. They are two separate programs. Workers’ compensation is governed by the state. While SSD is a federal program run by the Social Security Agency (SSA).
However, your income from both workers comp and SSD benefits should not exceed 80%of your average current earnings. If it does, the SSA will adjust your disability benefits accordingly to bring the total under 80%.
Having An Attorney Makes The Process Easier
It’s a well-known fact that social security disability applications routinely get denied. In fact, the SSA reported that up to 65% of applications were denied in 2018 alone. Most of the time, applications are denied for the most mundane of reasons.
Hiring an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca will highly increase your chance of getting approved. He has been helping injured workers in Florida for over 23 years. Thus, he is very familiar with the ins and outs of the system.
From helping you figure out your eligibility to submitting your application, Atty. Malca can guide you throughout the entire process. Contact us now for a free consultation.