The Journey to Social Security Disability Benefits
In 2010 alone the United State Census Bureau reported that 19% of U.S. citizens suffer from a disability. A smaller percentage of Americans face debilitating mental or physical conditions that render them unable to work and support their families. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was created in order to assist and supplement disabled citizens’ finances. Often obtaining support from Social Security can be complicated and time consuming, which is why most people in need of Social Security Disability benefits seek legal help. Having legal representation and assistance helps to expedite the process of applying for claims and appealing previous benefit denials.
A person seeking benefits must meet specific Social Security Disability requirements. The amount of money granted to them will be personalized based on the severity of their disability and the longevity of their previous work experience. SSDI benefits will also support widowed spouses and children of the disability beneficiary based on a separate set of criteria than the disabled applicant. Likewise, parents may be able to collect disability money if their child has a severe impediment like total deafness, total blindness, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, HIV infection, and birth weight below 2lbs 10oz (as listed on the Social Security Administration’s website).
Since the Social Security Administration adheres to a specific definition of disability, sometimes disabled person in need of financial help will not qualify for SSDI benefits. Fortunately, other options exist for people in need of monetary supplementation. The website of the Hankey Law Office lists Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI), Short-Term Disability, and Long-Term Disability as other assistance programs that disabled citizens can apply for should they not qualify for SSDI. There are many options and its difficult to know which is most applicable to your specific situation, but a lawyer might be able to help you navigate these choppy, complicated waters.