FAQ

DO I QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS (SSDI or SSDIB)?

  • To be fully insured and qualified to receive SSDI benefits, individuals must have worked 5 out of 10 years prior to the date of disability, earning 20 out of 40 quarters of coverage. See the chart at www.ssas.com/qc.htm for specific tables. Special rules apply for those under age 31 (usually 6 out of 13 quarters of earnings are required for eligibility).

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I RECEIVE IF I QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?

  • For disability insurance benefits, your monthly benefit is based on how much you’ve worked and earned over the years.  A disabled claimant will receive the same monthly benefit that he or she would receive had he or she retired at full retirement age (65 years old or more depending on age).   (Social Security Administration calculates the monthly dollar amount of SSDI benefits paid on an individual basis).
  • For disabled widow’s or widower’s benefits, your monthly benefit is based on how much your late husband or wife worked and earned.
  • For disabled adult child benefits, your benefit is based on how much the child’s parent worked and earned.
  • For all types of SSI benefits, there is a maximum amount that an individual with no other income can receive.  The maximum amount is currently $698 (2012) per month for an individual and $1048 (2012) a month for a couple).  Other income can reduce the amount of the benefit.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?

  • Disability Insurance Benefits and Disabled Widow’s and Widower’s Benefits cannot begin until five months have passed from the month you became disabled.  This is called the waiting period.  Also, benefits cannot be paid more than one year prior to the month you filed your claim.
  • Disabled Adult Child Benefits cannot be paid more than six months prior to the date of the claim; however, there is no waiting period.
  • SSI benefits cannot be paid before the beginning of the month following the month you filed your claim.
  • If you have received Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widows or Widowers Benefits or Disabled Adult Child Benefits for 24 months, you qualify for Medicare.  Medicare pays for doctors visits and for acute care in a hospital, among other things. You are responsible for deductibles and co-payments.
  • In many states, if you are approved for SSI, you automatically qualify for Medicaid (but not the other way around).

IF I RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS AND MY DISABILITIES GET WORSE OR I AM DIAGNOSED WITH OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS, CAN MY MONTHLY BENEFIT AMOUNT BE INCREASED?

  • No, your benefit is based on the amount of your lifetime earnings prior to your disability and not the degree of your disability.

HOW LONG WILL I BE ABLE TO RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS?

  • You will receive Social Security Disability benefits as long as you remain disabled and unable to work.   Your benefits will not run out because you did not contribute enough into the Social Security system.
  • Social Security may review your case after you get benefits.  However, in most cases Social Security will not terminate your benefits unless your medical condition has improved or you have returned to work. Most people who have their cases reviewed continue to get benefits. If Social Security proposes to end your benefits, you have the right to appeal their decision. If you appeal within ten days of being notified of their decision, you can ask Social Security to continue your benefits while your appeal is considered.

CALL FOR FREE DISABILITY CONSULTATION   912-228-5010 Savannah  *  912-490-4369 Waycross  *  912-265-2323 Brunswick