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Determining Your Disability Benefits Eligibility

Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits can be a difficult and stressful process. If you think you might be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you should be aware of the process the Social Security Administration uses to determine eligibility. Knowing these steps in advance may help save you a lot of trouble and stress in the long run.

Disability Benefits Overview

Eligibility for Social Security disability benefits is usually described as a five-step process.

  • If you are currently working and making over a predetermined amount per month, you cannot be considered for disability benefits except in very special cases. Currently, the maximum amount of monthly income is $1,040 per month. Any more than this will disqualify you for disability benefits.
  • Your condition must be considered severe enough to affect your ability to perform work-related tasks. This is generally the most difficult and contentious point to prove in order to obtain disability benefits. Basically, you must have a condition that medically prevents you from earning money at a job.
  • Your condition must match one of the accepted conditions for Social Security disability according to a list that the Social Security Administration maintains.
  • If your condition does not match one of the conditions on the list, further determination of your condition must be done to determine whether it affects your ability to do the work you previously did, and also to determine whether you are able to perform other types of work.

It is notoriously difficult to meet the above conditions, but in many cases that is for good reason. Social Security disability is an advantage that all too many people are eager to try and exploit, and so the administration is forced to be very thorough in its research and criteria. If you think you qualify, talk to your social security disability lawyer today.

Private Disability Insurance And Social Security Disability Insurance

disability insuranceIn 2010, the applications for Social Security Disability Insurance rose to an all-time high of 2.9 million. Of these, roughly 1,000,000 ended up being accepted. Many people are aware that applying for Social Security Disability Insurance is a difficult process. Thus, there has also been a corresponding rise in the number of individuals who are beginning to take out private disability insurance as well.

How Do These Affect Each Other?

It’s no big secret that Social Security Disability Insurance is in trouble. Many financial experts have projected that Social Security Disability Insurance will become financially insolvent within the next five years. These concerns have led many individuals to start investigating the opportunities that private disability insurance may afford them.

In the event that you are not a disabled individual, considering taking on private disability insurance might be a good idea. There is a three in ten chance that any individual who is currently working at full capacity may experience a disability during some part of their working years. It is important to take the initiative to make allowances against the unthinkable occurrence. Especially considering the fact that Social Security Disability Insurance is in peril, it is wise to make personal provisions.

Social Security Disability Insurance and private insurance go hand-in-hand. In order to ensure that your capabilities as a wage earner are fully protected, be sure to look into the opportunities that private insurance can provide you. With a little bit of forethought, in the event that you do end up disabled, you will not be reliant on government programs that might not be able to provide for you.

Are You Mistakenly Recorded As Deceased?

social security and deathBelieve it or not, the Social Security Administration has listed quite a large amount of Americans as wrongfully dead.  Social Security numbers are issued to everybody at birth who is an American citizen, and after any individual dies, they need to be reported to the Social Security Administration.  Generally speaking, this works out fine and it helps keep track of who is receiving what benefits, be they Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, or just plain Social Security benefits that are the entitlement of any retired American.

No Time For Mistakes

However, given the size of the Social Security Administration and the fact that there are over 350 million Americans at this point means that mistakes are going to be made.  It might sound somewhat amusing if the Social Security Administration thinks that you are dead, but the fact of the matter is that this can cause you any number of problems, from losing benefits to even losing housing.  A woman in Arizona was actually refused an apartment when it was revealed that her Social Security number listed her as dead – she had to get a letter from a doctor proving that she was, indeed, alive.

If you happen to be on the list of those who are dead – which is called the Death Master File by the Social Security Administration – be sure to contact the Administration right away to fix the problem.  Failure to do so can result in termination of benefits.  You can contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213, or go to their website at www.ssa.gov for more information.

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