Things To Know Before You Apply For Disability Benefits


In a world ridden with economic insecurity and recession, disability can sound like a death knell. However, US government has put in place a system of social security that enables people with disability to monetarily support their lives. If you are suffering from a physical disability and want to draw on this fund, read on to know how you can do it.

How Does Social Security Law Define Disability?

To begin with, it is important to know what constitutes "Disability" in the eyes of US Social Security laws. The Social security law does not recognize a statement of disability from your doctor. Hence, if your doctor says that you are disabled, it is not enough to claim disability benefits. To do so, you should be

* Unable to do any substantial physical work, and
* This condition should have lasted for about a year or is expected to result in your death.

How Do I Go About Seeking Disability Benefits?

In order to draw disability benefits, you first need to apply for an appointment with a representative of the Social Security administration. This appointment can either be telephonic or would be conducted in the local office of the Social Security Administration. The interview would be an hour long during the course of which you would be asked to reply to a few questions. Once through, your application would be sent for further processing.

How Is It Decided That You Are Awarded Disability Benefits?

The application filled by you is sent to state agency for evaluation. A team of medical and vocational experts look at the information given in the application and determine to what extent your physical disability hamper the execution of work which you otherwise do to make a living.

To get a better picture, they may also obtain your medical records from your doctor and the health care institution where you got treated for the disability. They might also ask you to undergo further medical test (you won't need to pay for them).

How Long Do You Need To Wait For Disability Payments?

The processing of the application takes 3 to 5 months to go through. Only after this period would you start getting your disability benefits.

What Are The Disability Benefits Which You Get?

The Social Security Administration awards benefits under two different schemes. They are as follows:

* Supplemental Security Income: This is awarded to those who low or no income or resources.
* Social Security Disability Insurance: It is meant for insured workers, their disabled spouses and children (disabled before the age of 22) of disabled, retired or deceased workers.

Can I Register Online?

Yes, you can apply online for Social Security Disability Insurance. However, you can not do the same for Supplemental Security Income.