Questions about Social Security Disability Benefits

questions about social security disability

questions about social security disabilityAbingdon, Bristol and Johnson City

Are you trying to figure out if you can file for social security disability benefits? Social Security Income is there to help those in need: the aged, blind, and disabled who have little to no income. You probably have many questions, but may be unsure where to find the answers or afraid to ask. The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., are here to assist you. You have needs, and should not have to wait to figure out if you can file until you are in a bad position. Life is a struggle. Our experienced disability attorney in Johnson City makes it easier on you with these answers to seven questions about social security income.

What is the difference between SSI (social security income) and SSDI (social security disability income)?

Both are government-funded programs that offer benefits for individuals unable to work. SSI is a supplemental retirement program for retired workers beginning as early as age 62. SSDI, on the other hand, is designed for people who are disabled and unable to work. It is available to people of all ages; parents may be able to draw SSDI benefits on their disabled dependent children to help take care of their needs. However, SSDI and SSI cannot be claimed at the same time. Therefore, for individuals who are disabled and unable to work, yet also are 62 years of age or older, it is best to speak with a disability attorney to help you determine which benefit would be most beneficial for you.

How do you know if you qualify for disability benefits?

Social security disability income or SSDI has to consider you to be disabled or impaired with a medical, psychological, or psychiatric basis. That means that before you file you should have documentation from a medical examiner that supports your medical disability.

How does the process work?

If you believe you may qualify for disability, then you should ask yourself: can you still work? If the answer is no because of an existing disability or medical condition, then you should file immediately. You can begin the process by filling out an application online, by phone, or at your local Social Security office. The Social Security Administration will do interviews with the claimant and need to have overviews of all medical documentation.

How long does it take for the Social Security Administration to reach a decision?

It can range based upon your need for disability benefits. The time frame can be anywhere from two months to two years. You can receive benefits automatically if you have certain conditions. The time frame is so broad because the Social Security Administration handles both SSI and SSDI filings.

How can I qualify automatically?

If there is substantial evidence to prove you have certain impairments, then SSDI benefits can be granted much faster.

Those cases generally involve people who suffer from conditions such as:

  • Sensory issues (speech, vision, or auditory impairments)
  • Respiratory ailments (asthma and cystic fibrosis)
  • Digestive ailments (liver disease or inflammatory bowel)
  • Neurological (multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy)
  • Blood disorders (sickle cell or hemophilia)
  • Mental disorders (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and autism)
  • Autoimmune (HIV, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney disease)
  • Musculoskeletal problems (back conditions and other dysfunctions of the joints or bones)
  • Cardiovascular condition (chronic heart failure or coronary artery disease)
  • Cancer

Does seeking or having a disability mean I am not allowed to work?

Usually, if you can’t sustain full-time work, Social Security will approve your case. You will be granted an income limit once approved, meaning your benefits will be less while working and your income cannot exceed certain amounts. If at any time your income exceeds that limit, your disability could be discontinued.

What happens if I file and don’t get approved?

If you’ve filed for SSDI benefits and are denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal. You should do so immediately, and should contact a lawyer for your appeal. Then it can take anywhere from 90-120 days to receive a decision, but there is no deadline on disability cases, so it may take longer.

Social Security Disability Law in Tennessee

Navigating SSDI regulations can be complicated. You should have a lawyer on your side from the beginning to help accelerate the process and make sure there is no issue with the filing of your claim. The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., has more than 30 years of experience working with Social Security Disability cases. In the unfortunate situation where your claim is denied, we can file an appeal on your behalf and even take the matter to court by filing a lawsuit if necessary. Find out more and schedule a free consultation today by calling (276) 451-2056.

The Law Offices of Michael R. Munsey, P.C., proudly serves Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol in Tennessee, as well as Bristol, Virginia.