Social Security Disability
Out of the several federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities the largest is the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income of the SSA (Social Security Administration). Divided into two, they are composed of the following:
* Social Security Disability Insurance
* Supplemental Security Income
The two programs are different and give different benefits to persons with disabilities. However, both are administered by the Social Security Administration. Only individuals who have disabilities that come under the purview of the disability law may qualify for the benefits specified under either program.
For purposes of this article, the focus would be on the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured.”
Now, what does it mean being “insured?” Before we answer that question, let us first define what the Social Security Administration considers as “disability.”
What is Social Security’s Definition of “Disability?”
Before going into an enumeration as to what benefits you may be entitled under the Social Security Disability Insurance, it is important that you first know what Social Security means by “disabled.” This is because the Social Security Administration defines “disability” differently from other programs.
Note that Social Security pays only for total disability. Therefore, if you are only partially disabled or your disability is only short-term, you are entitled to no payable benefits.
Under Social Security, your disability is based on your inability to work. Thus, if you cannot work at all nor do work that you did before and that Social Security has decided that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition, then you are disabled under Social Security. This is further qualified by the fact that your disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
What are the Benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance?
If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, the Social Security Administration will give you monthly disability benefit, the amount of which will be based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.
Within 3-4 weeks after receiving notice that you have qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance, the Social Security Administration will send you your Social Security Statement. You will receive this statement, which contains the specific amount you will receive, every year after that.
What Family Benefits are Included in Social Security Disability Insurance?
When you start receiving your social security disability benefits, certain members of your family may also qualify for benefits on your record. These family members include:
* Your spouse
* Your divorced spouse
* Your children
* Your disabled child
The social security disability benefit of each family member is up to 50 percent of your monthly disability rate. Note, however, that there is a limit to the total amount of money that can be paid to a family member on your social security record.