Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid based on the amount of income you earned and insurance you paid. Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits are paid according to your financial need. This means your anticipated monthly financial benefits can vary greatly from another recipient. The federal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will also impact how much you can receive from Social Security Disability in South Carolina in 2022.
On average, SSDI benefit recipients in 2019 were $1,234 while the maximum payment for SSI benefit recipients is expected to be $841. When our social security disability lawyer represents you, they work hard to help you maximize your monthly financial benefits and ensure you get the medical benefits you need to optimize your ongoing health.
Why Are Payment Amounts So Different Between Programs?
Social Security Disability benefits are awarded through two programs – SSI and SSDI. Benefits recipients with the same disabling condition can receive different monthly payments. This varying payment amount is due to the nature of each program. According to SSA guidelines:
- SSDI benefits are based on payments you and your employer made into the Social Security program while you worked. The benefits paid through SSDI are drawn from a Social Security trust fund. Your contributions help determine your benefit amount.
- SSI benefits are based solely on need. The benefits awarded to SSI recipients are funded by taxes. Your benefits are based on your state of residence, household demographics, and other sources of income, if any.
Knowing which SSD benefits you qualify for will help you understand the potential payment you will receive.
How Do I Qualify for Simultaneous SSDI and SSI Benefits?
Many people mistakenly believe they can only receive SSDI or SSI benefits. You can, in fact, qualify for both programs simultaneously. These are called concurrent benefits, and you qualify if:
- You receive SSDI benefits based on your financial contributions while you worked
- Your SSDI monthly benefit amount is low enough to meet the income guidelines for SSI benefits
Your benefits will be calculated and SSA officials will explain the amount you will receive from each program.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer to Help Me Apply for Benefits?
Applying for SSD benefits is a long and trying process, one which you can choose to handle on your own. However, an SSD lawyer will help you navigate the application and appeal process. SSA guidelines recognize the benefits of having legal representation by your side. Your lawyer can:
- Obtain key information from your SSD file
- Assist with information and evidence gathering
- Represent you at hearings, interviews, and conferences
- Represent you throughout the four-step appeals process
Our SSD lawyer will also help you and any supporting witnesses you identify prepare your testimonies for hearings and interviews. This preparation can help you feel calm and reassured and ensure you provide the relevant information to SSA representatives.
Can Hiring a Lawyer Increase My Chances of Getting SSD Benefits?
A lawyer can help you navigate the application process and ensure your documents are filed in a timely fashion. Having legal assistance and guidance can ensure your application is complete, your work history and SSD insurance contributions are accurately accounted for, and your medical evidence proves the extent of your disability and inability to work.
While hiring a lawyer will not guarantee you will get the benefits for which you apply, it will help to have support throughout the process. A lawyer can also help you identify your disability on the Listing of Impairments which may make the process move more seamlessly.
What Is the SSD Listing of Impairments?
SSA officials recognize the disabling nature of many conditions. These conditions are included on SSA’s Listing of Impairments. In addition to many forms of cancer, the list also includes the following disorders:
- Immune System
- Mental Disorders
- Digestive System
- Special Senses and Speech
You are not guaranteed to receive benefits just because your disability is on this list. You must still supply medical evidence and other information that proves your disability, its anticipated duration, and its impact on your life and on your ability to work now and in the future.
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You do Not Have to Apply for SSD Benefits Alone
Our SSD attorneys are passionate about helping disabled men and women fight for disability benefits and back pay if warranted. Learn more about how much you can receive from Social Security Disability in South Carolina and how you can appeal a denied application. Contact our case review team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC by calling (828) 286-3866 to start your fight for SSD benefits today.