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Things you need to know about Social Security Disability

5 Things You Need to Know About Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is a program that awards monthly benefits to those who qualify. It is important to be well informed about, and well prepared for, the process as it can be complex. Whether you are interested in applying or have already filed an application, these are the top five facts you will need to know about Social Security Disability:

The Social Security Administration’s Definition of Disability

Social Security has a very strict definition of a disability. To be considered disabled in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you must meet the following criteria:

  • You cannot perform your previous occupation, or, you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)
  • Your medical condition(s) must last, or be expected to last, for at least one year and/or be terminal

The Difference Between SSDI and SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is awarded to individuals who are unable to work as a result of a medical condition. To be eligible, the individual must have worked 5 of the past 10 years at a job that paid into Social Security. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are awarded to adults and children who are disabled, blind, or have limited income and resources by reason of financial need. SSDI is funded by the Social Security tax, while SSI is financed by the government revenues.

Disclaimer: This article focuses on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Working While Applying for Social Security Disability 

Claimants can work while applying for Social Security Disability, however, there are strict limitations on the amount. If a claimant starts doing a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) while waiting for the application to process, it will result in a denial. For 2018, SGA is defined by earning more than $1,180 gross income per month.

The Effect of Military Retirement and VA Disability Benefits on SSDI 

Because the Social Security Administration is a completely separate entity from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), it is possible to receive benefits from both organizations concurrently. In many cases, however, even veterans receiving 100% disability benefits from the VA are denied benefits by the SSA.

Unlike SSI which is need-based, SSDI is based upon an individual’s capacity for gainful employment. Therefore, receiving military retirement benefits will not affect a candidate’s eligibility for SSDI. If you are a disabled veteran receiving military retirement or VA disability benefits, and you are considering applying for SSDI, contact Victory Disability now.

Tips to Improve the Chance of Winning a Disability Claim

  • Submit an accurate and complete application. Numerous claimants are denied due to improper completion of the application. There are over twenty pages of questions to complete, which can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with such a form. To avoid denial on these grounds, you may hire a professional to correctly complete the application.
  • See a physician regularly. It is difficult to prove that your condition will inhibit you from working if you are not visiting a doctor on a regular basis. We recommend doing so at least once every three months.
  • Hire a disability Attorney or Advocate. This is particularly important if you must appear before an Administrative Law Judge. There may be a vocational expert present to testify about your ability to perform work. To ensure a successful cross examination of this vocational expert, a skilled professional is recommended. To speak with Victory Disability about this possibility, call 866-350-7229.

Veterans interested in applying for Social Security Disability or VA Disability Compensation with the help of Victory Disability should call 1-866-350-7229. To determine if you are eligible for SSDI benefits, complete our Social Security Disability Evaluation.