FAQ

Social Security Disability FAQ

Providing Answers to Your SSD & SSI Questions

At Todd Disability Law, we strive to provide our clients with valuable information to empower them as they navigate the Social Security disability (SSD) system. We understand that the process of recovered SSD benefits can be confusing, and there’s a good chance that you have some questions. As such, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

View our SSD FAQs here or contact our Oklahoma SSD lawyer at (405) 349-5727 for a no-obligation consultation.

  • Q:What are the two main types of disability benefits?

    A:The two primary federal disability programs are Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Both programs are designed to provide disabled individuals with financial benefits to assist with the challenges of being unable to work. Typically, an individual will qualify for either SSD or SSI but, in rare circumstances, it may be possible to qualify for both.

  • Q:What is the difference between SSD and SSI?

    A:The main difference between SSD and SSI is that SSD benefits are paid based on Social Security taxes, whereas SSI benefits are paid out from the National Treasury. In other words, in order to qualify for SSD, you need to have earned a certain amount of income on which you paid Social Security taxes. You do not need to have paid Social Security taxes to qualify for SSI, which is why SSI is often the right choice for those whose disabilities have always prevented them from working.

  • Q:Can I work while applying for or receiving disability benefits?

    A:Yes, but with limitations. Generally speaking, as of 2019, you may work while receiving SSD benefits as long as you are making less than $1,220 a month (or $2,040 a month if you are blind). During the 9-month trial period, you may be able to work and earn more than the above-stated amount and still receive SSD benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has specific rules on what is considered a “trial work month.” It is a good idea to discuss your unique situation with an experienced Oklahoma SSD lawyer. If you receive SSI benefits, you are permitted to work as long as your monthly income falls below the specified threshold to continue your eligibility for SSI. It is important to note, however, that if you do work, your monthly SSI benefits will be reduced according to your countable income.

  • Q:How long will it take for me to receive disability benefits?

    A:As frustrating as it can be, the answer to this is, it depends. There are a wide variety of factors—including how long the application process takes, whether or not your claim is denied, etc.—that may affect how long it will take for you to start receiving benefits. Typically, you will need to wait a minimum of one to two months to receive your benefits. This can be much longer if there are any issues with your claim. However, you should receive “back pay” to make up for any time between when your application was approved and when you received your first SSD payment. People often receive this back pay about a month or more after first receiving SSD payments. If it has been more than 90 days since you applied for SSD and you have yet to receive payments, contact our Oklahoma Social Security disability lawyer right away.

  • Q:My SSD claim was denied. What do I do?

    A:If your claim was denied, you may appeal this decision. The first step is requesting a reconsideration, or formal review of your claim. Following this, you may take further steps, including attending a hearing before an administrative law judge. If your SSD claim was denied, it is highly advisable that you reach out to a qualified attorney who can help you through the appeals process. At Todd Law, our founding attorney, Aimee Todd, has extensive experience working closely with judges and the Appeals Council.

  • Q:Does my age matter when applying for disability benefits?

    A:Generally speaking, your age will be a factor in determining your eligibility for SSD or SSI benefits. However, it is possible to receive disability benefits at any age.

  • Q:If I have to go to a hearing, does it matter which judge I get?

    A:Yes, the judge in your case can make a difference in how your case should be prepared. Some judges want to see a large body of evidence, whereas others want a pre-hearing brief or a certain number of witnesses. It is important to work with an attorney, like Ms. Todd, who knows the judges and what they typically want to see when deciding on these cases.

  • Q:Can SSD be garnished for child support, medical bills, or alimony?

    A:Because SSD is a federal program, SSD benefits can be garnished if you owe money to the federal government (unpaid federal income taxes, student loans, etc.).

  • Q:Can I qualify for SSD if I am homeless?

    A:Yes, you may qualify for SSD if you are homeless, as long as you meet all other SSD eligibility requirements. Your housing status does not affect your ability to recover either SSD or SSI benefits.

  • Q:Can I receive SSD if I am in the hospital?

    A:Yes, you may begin or continue receiving SSD or SSI benefits while in the hospital or another healthcare facility, regardless of whether it is a private or public institution. Please contact our office and we can help you navigate the process while you are still hospitalized.

  • Q:What is the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) initiative?

    A:The CAL program is designed to reduce the waiting time to receive benefits for applicants who have a disability that clearly meets the Social Security Administration’s definition of a “disability.” Typically, CAL is for individuals who have very serious conditions, such as brain disorders, cancer, or rare debilitating diseases. The program allows the SSA to quickly identify applicants who are qualified for benefits so that they can begin receiving those benefits sooner.

  • Q:How will workers’ compensation affect my SSD benefits?

    A:Each situation is unique, but if you receive workers’ compensation at the same time as SSD benefits, these two disability benefits will likely offset each other. Additionally, receiving workers’ compensation benefits may disqualify you from receiving SSD or SSI benefits altogether—even if you meet the medical requirements of either program—because your income and/or resources level may be too high.

  • Q:Can my disabled adult child receive SSD?

    A:In some cases, yes, your child may be able to receive SSD benefits even if he or she is over the age of 18. Your child’s eligibility is based on your Social Security earnings, as well as a number of other factors, including marital status, age of disability, and more. Contact Todd Law to learn more.

  • Q:Can I collect my spouse’s SSD as a widow(er)?

    A:Yes, spouses of individuals who were receiving SSD or SSI benefits before passing away may continue collecting these benefits as long as they are over the age of 60 or over the age of 50 if disabled. It is important to note that you will not receive a payment for the month in which your spouse passed away. During this time, the SSA will determine if you are eligible to continue receiving your spouse’s benefits. You may also be eligible to receive a one-time payment of $255. This is known as the Widow/Widower Benefit payment and is granted to surviving spouses who were living with their spouse at the time he/she passed away.

  • Q:Can I receive SSD as a wounded warrior/veteran?

    A:The Social Security Disability Benefits for Wounded Warriors program is meant to assist wounded warriors. Your current active military status may affect your benefits in that, if you are active military but unable to work due to your disability, you may be eligible to receive higher payments. Note that SSD is separate from VA benefits. You may be able to receive both benefits, but you will need to apply for each program separately. Our Oklahoma Social Security disability lawyer can help guide you through this process and assist you in obtaining your benefits.

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