Are You Entitled to Claim Disability Benefits?
If you are disabled and that disability hinders you from working, you may be able to claim benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
An essential factor that needs to be given attention in claiming disability benefits is that you must prove you are severely disabled preventing you from doing any gainful activity for at least a year or your disability may cause your death. Determining if your claim is valid rests on the shoulders of medical experts under SSA’s employ.
The Social Security Administration has set these standards in establishing what is “disabled.” One, if you are earning $700 a month or more, then you are not disabled. Also, if your condition does not interfere with your work, your claim will be denied. The SSA maintains a list of disabling impairments and if your condition is not on that list, they will have to determine if your condition affects your capacity to work. If you can no longer do the work you used to do, SSA tries to see if you can do any other kind of work taking into account your age, education, past experience and transferable skills. If you cannot work, you will be considered disabled.
Application for disability benefits entail and in-depth interview from an SSA representative. Topics that will be touched include applicant’s disability, medical history, leisure time activities, and financial status. Several application forms will have to be filled-up by the applicant as a proof of his intention of claiming disability benefits.
Completion of all the requirements does not necessarily mean that your application will be approved. A caseworker from SSA and a caseworker from the state Disability Determination Service (DDS) will have to determine if your claim is valid and recommend a decision regarding the status of your application. If your application is approved, your SSI benefits will include cash payments at a minimum of $579 per month for an individual or $869 per month for a couple (2005). Your state may supplement this amount. The federal amount is adjusted in January of each year, depending on the U.S. cost of living.
You will also be eligible for Medicaid, food stamps, rehabilitation, and home care if necessary.
However, not all applications are approved. Fact is two out of three persons who apply for disability benefits are initially rejected. What you can do is make an appeal for reconsideration of your case. Appeals have a good chance of winning provided that your disability is indeed valid.
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