What is Social Security Disability Insurance?
What is Social Security disability insurance?
Excellent question. Social Security disability insurance is a benefit that pays you, or certain family members, if you are “insured.” Insured simply means that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes on your earned income. While you are working and paying Social Security taxes on your income, you are accumulating “work credits.” Depending on your age, you must accumulate a certain number of credits in order to be “insured.” One important thing to note is work credits can expire. If you are not sure if you have enough work credits to be insured, or if you believe those work credits have expired, please call the attorneys at Wykoff and Sikes as they can help you determine whether or not you may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance benefits.
Once it’s been determined you are insured and eligible for Social Security disability insurance benefits, you may begin the application process. We recommend that you apply with the assistance of an attorney representative to ensure the application is completed appropriately. The initial application is a very extensive process. The Social Security Administration uses the application to gather information and documentation needed to initiate your claim for Social Security disability benefits. Although you do have the option to apply independently online, by phone or in person at your local Social Security office–the attorneys at Wykoff and Sikes want to make this process as easy as possible by assisting you with the application process. If you need help starting an application for Social Security disability benefits, please call Wykoff and Sikes.
The general steps to initiate a claim for Social Security disability insurance benefits is as follows:
· You gather all the necessary information and documentation needed to apply. A checklist of all needed documents is provided directly by the Social Security Administration and found be found using this link: https://www.ssa.gov/hlp/radr/10/ovw001-checklist.pdf
· You complete the application
· SSA will review the application to ensure the basic requirements are satisfied for disability benefits
· SSA will confirm enough work credits are accumulated (and not expired)
· SSA will evaluate your work related activities (past and present)
· SSA will process the application and forward the case to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) for further examination
· DDS will make the determination based on your age, education, past work and residual functional capacity
Once you’ve applied for benefits, the processing time varies greatly depending on your case’s specific circumstances; however, most claims do take anywhere between 1.5-2 years to be completed. After applying, be on the lookout for any correspondence or a determination to be received in the mail.
If you have any questions regarding the application process, or need assistance initiating the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact Wykoff and Sikes to get the help you need!