Understanding Social Security Disability—An Overview of the Basics

By / February 16, 2018 / Social Security Disability Basic Facts / 484 Comments

Get understandable answers to the most frequently asked questions about Social Security Disability and Medicare. Find out where and how to get legal help with your Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim.

Enhance your chances of filing a successful claim for disability benefits by increasing your general understanding of Social Security benefits. Learn how you can qualify for disability benefits based on your own work history or in some circumstances based on the work credits of your parents or your deceased spouse. Get help in determining which cease work date to claim as your disability date when you have tried to return to work after you first became disabled.

Be sure to take advantage of additional potential benefits. Learn when you can get health insurance through Medicare or Medicaid, how workers compensation benefits may or may not affect your Social Security Disability benefit payment, and when and how your children and spouse may be eligible for Social Security dependent benefits.


Get started on preparing a strong claim for disability benefits and identifying all other benefits you may be eligible for using the information in these articles:

De-coding Social Security’s Definition of Disability
Increase your chances of being approved for Social Security Disability benefits and get the most back benefits possible. Understand Social Security’s definition of disability to file an effective application while claiming the most advantageous date of disability onset.

More Than One Way to Get Disability Benefits

Do you have too few work credits for Social Security Disability on your earnings record and too many assets for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability? Find out when you can receive disability benefits on a relative’s earnings record.

Permanent Disability Is Not Required to Get Benefits
This article busts the myth that applying for disability benefits is a promise to be permanently disabled and gives a good reason for applying for benefits even if you expect to recover and even if you have other income.

How You Get Work Credits to Become Insured for Social Security Disability
To receive Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) benefits, you must be fully insured and currently insured. This article explains what each mean and details how to get the work credits needed to meet both insured-status requirements. Get tips on how to view your earnings record and, if need be, get it corrected.


Getting Disability Payments Without a Work History or Without Recent Work
All is not lost when you do not have enough work credits or enough recent work to get Social Security Disability. You may qualify for Social Security benefits as a disabled dependent and disabled survivor of an insured worker. Plus, you may be able to secure income from another federal disability program that doesn’t require work credits.

Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability
Explore the reasons for applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI) while receiving workers compensation and find out how SSDI benefits are calculated when workers compensation offset applies. Become aware of the pitfalls of quickly spending a workers compensation lump-sum payment.

Medicare and Medicaid Health Insurance
These two government health insurance programs are usually accessed through Social Security entitlement or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. However, sometimes a person can get Medicare or Medicaid coverage without drawing Social Security or being eligible for SSI. Also, see how to get help with paying Medicare premiums.

Family Benefits for a Disabled Worker’s Spouse and Children
Dependent benefits can be paid to the families of disabled workers who are eligible for Social Security Disability when the worker has a strong enough work history to insure dependents and when relationship and dependency requirements are met. See how dependent benefit amounts vary depending on the worker’s earnings record.

Would you like more important information about disability benefit approvals? Check out these articles about:

Applying for Benefits
Find out where, when, and how to apply for Social Security and SSI disability benefits. Get tips on completing an application and on what to do while you wait for it to be processed.

The Social Security Disability/SSI Claims Process for Adults
Get detailed information about how your adult disability claim is evaluated. Learn how your age, education, and work experience play a part in the disability decision, and find out when a claim approval can be expedited as a compassionate allowance.


Appealing If You Are Denied
If you are denied, you can appeal within a limited period of time and have your claim looked at again for possible approval. Get information about how reconsideration, hearing, and Appeals Council appeals differ and about how to select and work with a Social Security attorney on your appeal.

Disability Hearings
Your hearing of a denied claim is your “day in court.” It is your best chance for approval after being denied at an initial claim. Find out what to do while waiting for your hearing date and what to expect at the hearing.

After You are Approved
Get details on when benefits may start after a medical approval and how back benefits are calculated as well as when your benefits must be paid to a representative payee. Find out how long disability benefits will continue, whether you can work while getting disability benefits, and what life changes must be reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays disability benefits to individuals with little or no work history. In addition to disability, income and assets determine whether you are eligible for SSI and if so how much you will be paid. Learn when a spouse’s or a minor child’s parents’ income and assets affect SSI eligibility and payment amount.

Commonly Used SSDI and SSI Forms
Whether you are applying for disabled worker benefits, for disabled dependent or survivor benefits, or for SSI as a disabled individual, click on the link above to reach the application forms you need. Take advantage of previewing these forms just to be sure you don’t forget something important when the time comes to file your application.


Understanding Social Security Disability—An Overview of the Basics
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