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How do Social Security disability programs work?

When Social Security is mentioned, many people in Franklin, Ohio, get a little confused. The program is complicated, possessing many facets that often leave the people in need of assistance feeling disheartened.

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have enough credits earned for your age when you become disabled. These can be earned at a maximum of four per year. According to one expert, the number of credits needed if you become disabled before the age of 28 is a minimum of six. As you get closer to 62, the number of credits necessary to qualify go up until they peak at 40, the amount needed for Social Security retirement eligibility.

The two programs within Social Security that provide disability benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income disability. Both require that applicants be disabled with impairments that will keep them out of work for at least a year. Besides that similarity, there are some differences. SSDI is funded by Social Security taxes that are paid by the employed. This is the program that requires a certain number of credits in order to allow injured workers to use its benefits. SSI is not funded through taxes, but through general revenues. It is used to assist disabled individuals who have limited income and meet certain criteria regarding living arrangements.

The process of applying for Social Security benefits often takes three to four months, if not more. It can be a complex application and many people have struggled with it. Even after applying, many people are denied. If you have been denied SSI/SSDI benefits, consider contacting an attorney. Legal professionals that specialize in this field likely have more experience in submitting Social Security claims than the typical individual, especially if she or he has been injured on the job and this is the first time she or he has applied.

Source:  The Times Herald, "Matt Wallace: Answering your questions about Social Security" Matt Wallace, May. 04, 2013

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

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