Social Security Disability Benefits
Monroe Social Security Disability Attorney
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two programs for qualified disabled individuals: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While both programs offer monthly cash benefits, the types of benefits and the qualification processes for receiving them differ.
Continue reading to learn more about SSDI and SSI benefits, or contact our Monroe Social Security disability attorneys directly to speak to a qualified legal professional about your situation. With decades of legal experience, we are well-versed in all aspects of SSD, from applying for benefits to appealing a denied claim. Our attorneys have earned a reputation within the local community for providing compassionate and aggressive representation—an approach that has helped our firm recover millions of dollars for our clients.
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Eligible individuals who qualify for SSDI benefits can receive medical payments and monthly cash benefits. To be eligible, you typically must be less than 65 years old, and you must have a qualifying disability/condition. You must also have earned the required number of work credits. These are earned through FICA-taxable income, with a specific number of work credits related to specific dollar amounts.
Your monthly SSDI benefits are based on several factors, including:
- Your age
- The number of years you have worked
- Your income
- Your projected retirement date
The SSA offers a benefits calculator on its website where you can get an estimate of how much you may be able to receive through SSDI. In most cases, Social Security Disability Insurance covers about 40% of one’s pre-retirement income.
SSDI does not offer any specific health insurance/medical coverage for claimants right away. However, after two years (24 months) of receiving SSDI, you will become eligible for Medicare. In some cases, when a claimant has a severe disability or condition, they may be eligible for Medicare earlier than two years from the date SSDI benefits start.
We strongly recommend that you speak to an attorney to learn more about your rights and the specific SSDI benefits you may be entitled to receive. At Parker Alexander, we offer free initial consultations and do not collect any fees unless/until we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits
In contrast to SSDI, the Supplemental Security Income program is a needs-based program, meaning you do not need to have earned any work credits to be eligible. Rather, to qualify for SSI, you must only meet certain income and medical requirements; SSI is available to those who have not worked very much or who have never worked at all, as long as they meet other eligibility requirements.
The amount of SSI you can receive depends on specific factors, including:
- Where you live (state)
- Your regular monthly income
Additionally, the Social Security Administration enacts annual limits on how much an eligible individual may receive through SSI. Some states, including Louisiana, offer a supplement to eligible individuals, though this amount is generally low. In Louisiana, supplements are only available to individuals living in nursing homes paid for by Medicaid.
As of 2021, the SSA’s maximum SSI amounts are:
- $794 for a qualifying individual
- $1,191 for a qualifying married individual
- $397 for an essential individual
An “essential individual” is a person who lives with someone who qualifies for and receives SSI and who provides essential care for the qualifying individual.
How Long Do You Have to Wait for Social Security Disability Benefits?
With both SSDI and SSI, those applying for Social Security disability benefits typically must wait a certain amount of time before receiving benefits.
The waiting period for Supplemental Security Income is generally much shorter than Social Security Disability Insurance; approved SSI applicants may be able to start receiving benefits as soon as a few days after their applications are approved. Most often, SSI benefits begin on the first day of the next month after you have submitted your application and it has been approved.
In contrast, there is a five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance. This means that you will not receive any benefits for the first five months after you become disabled and are no longer able to work and/or earn a substantial income.
Note that the five-month waiting period begins on the established onset date (EOD) of your disability, not the date you sent your application. Additionally, the date of entitlement, or the date on which you are entitled to SSDI benefits, must be within one year (12 months) of the date on which you applied for benefits. In some cases, the SSA may set your EOD after your application date. This might be the case if your initial claim was denied but your condition deteriorated during the appeals process.
Contact Parker Alexander for Personalized Legal Guidance
The process of applying for and receiving Social Security disability benefits can be long, complex, and challenging. With our Monroe SSD attorneys on your side, you can simply focus on getting the medical care you need while we handle the legal details of your case.
We understand that every situation is different, which is why we provide custom legal counsel tailored to your unique needs, concerns, and goals. Our individualized approach allows us to advocate for the maximum benefits you are entitled to receive while also reducing the stress involved in fighting for fair benefits.