Perhaps you have found yourself staring blankly at the FICA tax information on your own pay stub, and wondered how that impacts your future retirement benefits? You’re not alone. Untangling the often baffling aspects of Social Security benefits are sometimes a daunting task, especially since you won’t get much case-specific advice from the Social Security Administration. From researching your options to hiring a professional, use all of the strategies and resources available to create this important financial decision easier
To help get you started, we compiled a record of some little-known Social Security benefits that may make a major difference in your retirement income.
How One Qualifies for Social Security Disability
Just as with retirement benefits under Social Security, you need to work a minimum length of time to qualify for disability benefits. Social Security uses exactly the same credit system for incapacity as for retirement, annual wages making one credit, up in with every $1,200 to a maximum of four credits per the calendar year.
Unlike retirement credits, though, the number of credits you need to qualify varies by age. For those 62 or older, you should have 40 credits, and you have to have made at least 20 of those credits within the 10-year span prior to your becoming disabled. However, the total number of credits falls by two for every two years younger than 62 you are, reaching 20 credits for those between the ages of 42 and 31. Younger workers need to have credits for half the time between their 21st birthday and also the year they become disabled, with a minimum of six credits for those 24 or younger.
When is a child entitled to disability benefits?
Youngsters under age 18 who are disabled may be qualified for childhood disability benefits if their parent has a disability or is deceased and was insured at the time of death. An unmarried disabled child who is older than age 18 may be eligible for benefits if the disability began before age 22. There’s no upper age limit for youth disability benefits.
Additionally, unmarried children are entitled to child’s insurance benefits on the Social Security record of their disabled or deceased parents in the event the kid is under age 18 or between age 18 and 19 and a full-time student.
Who is “handicapped”?
The Social Security Administration uses a strict definition of impairment. The program does not pay for partial disability or short-term disability. Your disability must prevent you from doing any substantial gainful work to qualify for benefits under SSDI, also it must last or be expected to last a year or to result in death.
Regardless of the rule that the disability has to be expected to continue a year, you ought to apply for benefits the moment the condition becomes disabling along with your doctor is willing to state in writing it is anticipated to last at least a year. If it turns out that you recover sooner than expected, the SSA will not ask for its money back.
Elderly workers who become disabled tend to possess a simpler time having their claims approved. The SSA recognizes that it’s harder for older workers to be retrained or to find new employment. Additionally, the agency knows that a disabled worker who’s, say, 60 years old and will be receiving retirement benefits in a number of years anyway will cost it less in than a younger worker would, benefit outlays.
Which are the Medical Requirements for Social Security Disability?
The SSA defines disability for the purposes of benefits as being unable to perform a “substantial gainful activity” because of a physical or mental impairment that has lasted at least 12 months or the condition is likely to continue at least 12 months or result in death. The SSA has a Record of Disabilities, referred to as the Blue Book, which describes mental and physical impairments that are considered so intense they prevent you from working. Nonetheless, you need to fulfill or exceed the requirements for the state to be considered disabled.
What can you do to improve your chances of being approved?
Request the oncologist or primary physician to write a letter or make a comment in the office visit notes for how many months or what portion of time someone would miss because of treatment or unwanted side effects and about how many days a month the man will likely overlook work. Help your doctor understand that claimants can receive benefits for a “closed span” as long as the amount of impairment is at least 12 continuous months.
Claimants can also request their caregiver to fill out a Third Party Function Report or write a short letter explaining the things assistance is now needed by the claimant with.
All of these strategies for dealing with cancer and Social Security Disability demand the experience as well as the insight of a seasoned Southern Illinois Social Security Disability representative.
Keep in mind that if a case is not approved at the first or second period the current wait time for a hearing for the Evansville, Indiana hearing office (ODAR) is almost 2 years from the second appeal. Retaining a representative after the first denial is a very good idea particularly for claimants with aggressive cancers who might have less than two years to live.
Applying for benefits
Unlike applying for retirement benefits, the application process for disability benefits is complicated and time-consuming. Before benefits can be collected by you, you have to have been disabled for at least six months. However, since the application procedure itself can take up to six months, do not wait for the six-month period of incapacity to elapse before applying for benefits; do it as soon as you become disabled.
The initial application is created at your local Social Security Office. (Don’t know where your local office is? Just click here for the SSA’s Social Security Locator.) If the office determines you have disability benefits to collect, it will forward your application to a Disability Determination Services office in your state, that will make the decision about whether you meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for handicap. This selection is made by a physician and also a disability evaluation specialist. They may request additional medical records and/or request a medical evaluation or test. This examination will probably be paid for by the SSA.