Qualifying for disability benefits is complicated. There are both technical and medical requirements to meet, and the application process can be lengthy and frustrating. The best way to understand and meet the qualifications for Social Security disability benefits is to work with an experienced disability lawyer.
Jon Sipes, Attorney-at-Law, is well-versed in the eligibility requirements for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who become disabled before reaching retirement age, but there are strict eligibility requirements. SSI offers a different benefit to select disabled individuals who can demonstrate financial need.
In any event, navigating the application claims process requires the advice and guidance of a trustworthy disability lawyer. Jon Sipes provides compassionate representation to disabled individuals and their loved ones in El Paso and surrounding Texas communities. He can help you through each phase of the disability claims process: submitting an application, filing a disability appeal, representing you at a disability hearing, and requesting a review by the Appeals Council.
Jon Sipes knows that navigating the federal bureaucracy is daunting, especially when you are living with a disability. You can rely on him for powerful representation and caring, efficient service. By working closely with you, Jon Sipes will guide you through the qualifications process and help you get the benefits you need and deserve.
SSDI Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications in Texas
To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked for a certain number of years and have paid into the Social Security system through tax deductions. You must also have a qualifying impairment that prevents you from doing your job or performing another type of work.
In particular, there are work credit requirements based on factors such as your age and work history. Generally, you are awarded four credits for each year you work. In addition, Social Security uses a formula for determining benefits that converts your earnings into work credits. Currently, $1,300 in earnings equals one work credit, so to earn 4 credits for the year, you need to earn at least $5,200.
In addition to work credits, Social Security also uses a recent work test and a duration of work test to determine your eligibility for benefits. Understanding the requirements under both tests requires the trustworthy advice Jon Sipes provides.
SSI Eligibility Requirements
Benefits under the SSI program are provided to those who are disabled under SSA guidelines, over the age of 65 or blind. Children with qualifying physical or mental impairments are also eligible.
You should know that SSI has very strict income and asset limits. This is why obtaining these benefits can be difficult. That’s where Jon Sipes comes in. He will work closely with you to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
For example, the income limit for SSI is based on what is known as the federal benefit rate or FBR. This rate is a combination of the SSI income limit and the maximum monthly payment that is available; the rate is also adjusted annually if there is Social Security “COLA” (cost of living adjustment). To be eligible for SSI, your monthly income cannot be greater than the FBR.
Of course, this sounds complicated, and the SSA only considers a portion of your income or monthly earnings, which makes understanding the income requirement even more difficult. By working with a knowledgeable disability lawyer, you will have a handle on this part of the process.
In addition, SSI is intended for those who can demonstrate financial need based on their assets — which cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a married couple. However, a primary residence is not included in the numerous factors Social Security considers in calculating assets. Jon Sipes, Attorney-at-Law will work closely with you to assess your financial situation and help you qualify for SSI.
Medical Eligibility Requirements for Disability Benefits in Texas
To qualify for disability benefits, your impairment must meet Social Security’s definition of disability. You must have a severe, long-term medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. In particular, you must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA). This does not mean that you are not permitted to work. For example, there is a limit to how much you can earn each month ($1,170 per month, $1,950 for blind applicants) for SSDI.
Also, Social Security’s “Blue Book” contains qualifying medical conditions. If your impairment is listed, you qualify for benefits; however, you may also be awarded benefits if your condition is not listed, but is medically equivalent to a listed condition. Jon Sipes will work closely with your doctor to gather the necessary medical information to show that you are disabled.
Contact Our Experienced El Disability Lawyer
Despite the fact that Social Security offers disability benefits, obtaining these benefits is not easy. Most initial claims are denied, and the disability appeals process is complicated. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced disability lawyer by your side.
Jon Sipes, Attorney-at-Law, is highly regarded as a dedicated advocate who fights tirelessly to protect the disabled. When you work with him, you can rest assured that your benefits claim will be handled with care and personal attention. Above all, he will work tirelessly to help you get the benefits you need and deserve. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.
Jon Sipes helps clients determine if they are qualified and eligible for SSI or SSDI throughout Texas including El Paso, Alpine, Amarillo, Lubbock, Marfa, Midland, and Odessa.
This information included on these pages does not constitute legal advice and should be used as such. They are for informational purposes only.