Recent research suggests that close to 40.2% of older Americans rely only on income they receive from social security.
Overall, about 65 million Americans collected Social Security benefits in June of 2020. Further, close to one-fifth of these beneficiaries received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
People living with disabilities are equally entitled to Social Security benefits. The average monthly benefits for individuals receiving disability income in 2019 was around $1,259. However, not everyone living with disabilities qualifies for these benefits.
Are you wondering what to do to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits? Qualification for social security disability is an intricate matter. Most people don’t understand the application dynamics.
In this article, we reflect on the prequalification for social security disability.
How Productive Are You?
The social security disability administration considers your level of productivity when assessing disability. An individual with an immune system disorder may still work in their previous workplace and still be productive after a temporal disability. The only difference is that they may need to be extra careful to avoid health complications.
The Social Security Administration uses your productivity levels as a benchmark. If you can proceed with all daily living activities, including work, then your application may fail.
The Social Security Administration doesn’t support individuals earning more than $1260 in a month. When filling your social disability application, this part can make or break your chances of receiving these benefits.
The Social Security Administration may also try to figure out your ability to work in a different work setting. If there’s any other work you can do despite having the impairment, then the Administration may not consider your application.
You only need to prove that you aren’t working and don’t have an active income. Once you do this, the Disability Determination Service office takes over the process.
The DDS will use the following criterion to determine your suitability.
You Must Have a Proven Disability
The process of qualifying applications for the most deserving Americans is intricate. Your first obligation is to prove that you fit within the Administration’s definition of a disabled individual. This is imperative when seeking benefits.
The Social Security Administration defines a disabled individual as one who’s unable to perform the work they were able to handle before. You must also prove that you cannot adjust to any other work considering your current medical conditions.
The other prequalification should be that your disability has lasted at least one year or more. You may also qualify for the benefits if a physician determined that your sickness may result in death.
A temporal disability does not qualify for social security disability. This is unless you prove the injury’s implications on your ability to work. It would help to consult your physician on your exact medical conditions before applying for the program.
Ascertainment of Severity of Condition
It is the role of the Disability Determination Services to identify the underlying medical disability. The service also assesses the severity of the condition before approving the application. You must show that you cannot lift, stand, walk, sit, or even remember anything due to the injury.
Ideally, the program seeks to offer benefits to individuals who cannot undertake the most basic activities. However, you must have been unable to do these things for at least 12 months. This is the precursor for the DDS to certify that your issue is urgent.
The disability has to interfere with daily living activities. If this is not the case, it may be hard to ascertain your eligibility for the program.
However, for the sake of uniformity, the SSA offers a list of disabling conditions. You may fall within this list depending on your medical issue.
List of Disabling Conditions
The Social Security Administration sets out specific conditions. These conditions guide their decision to qualify or disqualify a specific application. According to the SSA, disabling conditions fall into two parts, which are A and B.
Here are some specific medical conditions that qualify for Social Security Insurance. The conditions fall under category A of disabling conditions.
- Musculoskeletal System
- Respiratory Disorders
- Cardiovascular System
- Digestive System
- Genitourinary Disorders
- Hematological Disorders
- Skin Disorders
- Endocrine Disorders
- Special Senses and Speech
- Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
- Neurological Disorders
- Mental Disorders
- Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
- Immune System Disorder
If you don’t have a physical condition but have severe mental conditions, you still qualify for social security disability benefits. The catch is that this health condition must have been diagnosed over the last 12 months.
The Social Security Administration uses two critical bases of assessment. These are important in determining whether your claim is genuine.
- Compassionate Allowance
Compassionate allowance is the first criteria the Administration uses. An individual who has been ailing for a while without a predetermined health condition would still qualify for benefits. However, they must present a diagnosis report.
- Quick Disability Determination
The SSA also uses quick disability determinations when assessing eligibility. During this process, the Administration uses sophisticated technology to identify unique medical cases.
Social Security Disability Benefits for the Blind
According to the Social Security Administration, an individual is legally blind if their vision may not be correctable to a better rate than 20/200. This means that your visual field must be 20 degrees or less for you to qualify.
You might need to prove that your low vision levels are your greatest impediment to work. Your monthly earning limits must not be higher than $2,110 for you to qualify for Social Security Disability Allowance. As such, the severe impact of your blindness must be provable for you to qualify.
Benefits for Disabled Spouses
If something happens that leads to a worker’s death, a disabled widow or widower may claim Social Security Disability. However, this application must meet certain stringent conditions. First, the spouse must be between 50 and 60 years of age.
The surviving partner must also show that their disabling conditions meet SSA’s definition of disability. Further, the widow or widower must show that the disability started before or at least in the seven years following the employee’s death.
Divorced spouses also qualify for these benefits. However, they should prove their dependence on the dead employee. Before seeking compensation, it would help to understand these criteria.
Social Security Disability Insurance Income Limits
As of March 2013, an average disabled worker in the United States earned about $1,129 in social security disability insurance benefits.
The male disabled worker received at least $1,255 per month. On the other hand, the female counterparts received at least $993 per month.
The Social Security Disability Administration sets out lifetime average earnings before the disability. This is useful in the determination of insurance limits. For instance, if you earned at least $20,000 before the disability, the Administration compensates you with $11,544 in insurance benefits.
Individuals earning at least $60,000 are entitled to 39% replacement of benefits. The calculations set these limits to ensure adequate earning replacement for benefits.
This is critical when you can longer make a living—individuals earning at least $106,800 or more top the list of basic insurance limits.
The disability insurance benefits limits for those earning $106,800 before disability is $29,328. This means that you get at least 27% replacement of earnings for benefits.
Why Is It So Hard to Receive Social Security Disability Insurance?
The possibility of denial of the application is the most frustrating outcome for a disabled individual. The strict prequalification standards are set to ensure that that you are a low-income earner. You must also show you have a severe health condition before you can qualify.
Today, only 40% of the total applications made are successful. You need to show sufficient worker history. This increases your chances for qualification for disability insurance.
You may still qualify for Supplementary Security coverage even when you don’t have such a history. This is an option if Social Security Disability insurance fails.
You might need to show that you tried all other disability benefits options available and failed. This is critical before considering social security disability insurance. This process can be frustrating.
However, you need not worry if you have the services of a social security disability attorney. Click here for more information on the role of a social disability attorney during the process of application.
These Are the Qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance
The vast majority of Social Security Disability applicants never get the node. This outcome is frustrating for most people.
Even so, the Social Security Administration sets such strict qualifications to enhance eligibility. Have you been considering applying for social security disability benefits?
You need to meet all these prequalification criteria before being eligible for benefits. In case you still don’t meet the standards, you could consider supplemental insurance benefits.
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