Social Security Disability

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Applying for Social Security Disability and SSI

Who can get Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)?

 

Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, also called DIB, SSD, or Title 2 benefits, are for any disabled person who can no longer work, but who has the required history of working.
The disabled person’s spouse, dependent children and parents and even a divorced spouse might also be able to get DIB. This program is an insurance program. While a person works, he or she pays money into the Social Security system and becomes eligible to get benefits if he or she becomes disabled and can no longer work.
Who can get Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
 
SSI, also called Title 16, benefits is for any person who is blind, disabled, or elderly (65 or over) and who meets certain income and asset rules. You do not need to have a work history.
The income rules depend on your living arrangements and whether you apply as a single person or couple. Resources include cash, savings, investments, and valuables. They do not include a needed car, your home, ordinary belongings, or some life insurance policies.
How can I get SSI if I am aged or blind?
 
If you are applying for SSI as aged, you must show that you are 65 or over. If you are applying for SSI as blind, you must give evidence that you have corrected vision of 20/200 or worse in your better eye.
How can I get benefits for a disability?
 
To get benefits from the DIB or SSI disability programs you must show you are disabled. “Disabled” means that a physical and/or mental impairment or impairments keep you from working any regular, full-time job.
Your disability must have lasted or be expected to last for at least 12 months or be expected to result in death. It is normally not enough to show that you cannot do your old job.
You must show that you cannot do any kind of full-time work, taking into consideration your age, education, and experience. Different rules apply if you are over 50 years of age. You cannot get benefits if you are able to work, even if no one will hire you.
What evidence should I include with my application?
 
To get SSI or DIB, you must have medical evidence that shows you have some physical or mental impairment(s) that prevents you from working. Medical evidence includes doctor or hospital reports, chart notes, test results, and letters.
The more medical evidence you have, the better chance you will have of winning benefits. List all the medical evidence that you have when you apply.
Are there special rules if my disability is based on alcoholism or drug addiction?

People who are disabled because of the current use of alcohol or another drug are not eligible to receive benefits. If you have a drug addiction or alcohol problem, your disability must be caused by another medical problem that makes you unable to work in order to be eligible for benefits.

The basic test is: would you still be disabled if you stopped using drugs or alcohol? If so, then you are eligible for benefits.

What happens after I apply?
SSA will contact your doctors and request records. They also may send you to a doctor for an evaluation. Whenever possible you should try to take copies of your medical records to the doctor because the doctor will usually have no records of your medical history.
What happens if I am found to be eligible for benefits?
 
If you are found eligible for DIB, you will get benefits beginning 6 months after you became disabled, but only for a maximum of 12 months before you applied for benefits.
If you are eligible for SSI, you will get benefits back to the month after the month in which you applied, or later if Social Security believes your disability began after you applied.
When and Where do I Apply?
When should I apply for the DIB and SSI programs?
 
Apply as soon as possible after you become unable to work. You do not need to wait 12 months to apply.
Where do I apply for Social Security programs?
 
You must make an appointment to apply. You can make this appointment at your local Social Security office by calling 877-405-9196.

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