There are two different programs under which a disabled person may claim benefits.
They are Supplement Security Income “SSI” and Social Security Disability Income “SSDI”.
Both programs have the same medical requirement, however they have different financial requirements.
SSDI is called an insurance program because it is based on the taxes you pay when you work.
If you have not paid in enough quarters in five of the last ten years, then you are not eligible for SSDI benefits.
Some examples are homemakers who have not paid into the system, or someone unemployed for long periods, or an Illinois teacher who does not pay social security taxes.
SSI may be available to those who are not eligible for SSDI.
SSI is an income and asset based program. If you have no income or limited income and do not have assets worth more than $2,000 then you may be eligible (one vehicle and one residence are exempt).
The medical criteria for SSI and SSDI are that you must not be able to do substantial gainful activity if you are under 50 years of age.
Substantial gainful activity for the year 2017 is defined as $1170 per month.
This is a difficult burden to meet because it includes unskilled and sedentary jobs.
Once a person reaches the age of 50 years, the rules relax and allow a person to be able perform certain sedentary jobs and still be able to collect SSI or SSDI benefits.
Obtaining the appropriate medical treatment and describing your physical and mental limitations in the medical records is a vital part of your case.
Social Security makes two decisions when they decide your case.
The first is are you disabled, and the second is when did you become disabled?
Social Security will pay you back benefits for up to one year before the date of the SSDI application, and will only pay back benefits from the date of the SSI application.
The procedure for filing a disability application is to file it online through the www.ssa.gov website.
It takes four to six months for SSA to review the application. If they deny your claim, then you will have to file a request for reconsideration. This takes four to six months for review. If it is denied, then you must file a request for hearing. It usually takes twelve to fourteen months for a hearing to be scheduled.
The appeal process must be followed or you have to start over, and it may cause you to lose benefits.
Questions about your disability claim? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.