Ins And Outs Of Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability is one of the most misunderstood non-retirement benefits. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a retirement program. It is a program available to those who have become disabled and meet certain eligibility requirements. In 2016, 61 million people in the United States received Social Security benefits. Fourteen percent were disabled workers.
It’s important to understand how Social Security Disability benefits work because disability can happen to anyone at any time. Approximately 30 percent of those starting their careers today will become disabled or die before they reach retirement.
The money to pay for Social Security Disability benefits comes from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. The revenue for this trust fund comes from payroll taxes that employers and workers pay. Social Security Disability is not a welfare benefit. In fact, it must be earned, and it’s not easy to obtain. In order to qualify, you must meet three requirements:
- You must have worked at least 25 percent of your adult life (including five of the last 10 years).
- Suffer from a physical or mental disability that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.
- Be unable to perform gainful activity.
Even if you meet the three requirements above, obtaining Social Security Disability benefits are not easy to come by. After a person has exhausted all levels of appeals, only 40 percent of claims are approved. This number is expected to decrease as the Social Security program experiences severe backlogs. On average, a person must wait eight months to find out if they even qualify for benefits. Those who appeal and wait for a decisions tend to wait more than 600 days. That’s nearly two years.
If your application is denied, you can file an appeal. You can gather the information you need and complete the Disability Appeal form online.
Health Insurance Eligibility
If you do receive Social Security Disability benefits, you then become eligible for Medicare after a 24-month waiting period. You may also be able to access Medicaid, which pays for long-term care.
Social Security Disability Benefits as Early Retirement
While Social Security Disability benefits are not retirement benefits per se, they do help those who can no longer work retire early. In 2016, 35 percent of recipients were age 60 or older, while 70 percent were over age 50. This means that there is a growing number of people becoming disabled between ages 50 and 60.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
If you have retired or become disabled, Social Security benefits can help you replace lost income. Obtaining benefits is not easy, however, so it’s likely that you’ll need to seek legal help.
Social Security Disability is an earned benefit. If you qualify, you deserve it. The process can be extremely complicated, though, so get legal help from the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon. He has more than 20 years of experience handling Social Security Disability claims. Contact his office at (914) 294-2145 to schedule a complimentary consultation.