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Disability Benefit Types and Qualifications

There are several types of disability benefits available depending on an individual’s circumstances. The best known are Social Security disability benefits. Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available to workers who have paid into the Social Security system through payroll deductions. In order to qualify for SSD benefits, a worker must have paid a minimum of 10 out of 20 work quarters with a minimum of part-time work prior to becoming disabled immediately after ceasing work. Additional work quarters can extend disability coverage to maximum coverage period of 5 years. In addition to monthly benefits, successful SSD claimants will receive medicare benefits two years from their date of disability onset.

If an individual is uninsured or becomes disabled following expiration of their insured period, then that individual may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI benefits). These benefits pay considerably less than SSD benefits and will include Medicaid insurance immediately upon qualification. SSI benefits are reduced by any household income received by a relative in the home in which the claimant is living.

Both SSD and SSI benefits include additional benefits for minor children and will allow benefit recipients to earn up to $750/month without losing their monthly benefits as well as eligibility for a return to work program which will pay benefits while a person tries to return to full-time employment.

SSD and SSI benefits may be offset by additional benefits paid by other governmental disability programs such as Veterans Administration, state workers’ compensation, and the Federal Employees Retirement System. If an individual contributed directly to the Civil Service Retirement System or the Railroad Workers Retirement System, he or she will have no eligibility to Social Security disability benefits.

If you worked for an employer who sponsored a group disability plan or if you purchased an individual disability plan, you may have eligibility for additional benefits from these sources. The terms for benefits eligibility will be explained in the policy documents. You are permitted to request a copy of these documents at any time and should always keep a copy in your personal files. Many of these policies will require a covered person to apply for Social Security disability upon filing a private benefits claim. Any benefits paid by the private policy may be offset by benefits paid by Social Security and makes the covered person responsible for repaying any overpayments due to retroactive payments from Social Security. The sums to repaid can be considerable given the Social Security Administration’s customary extended delays by denying claims and making claimant’s wait for court hearings.

As you can see, disability programs are complicated. Little information is provided to the average person to explain disability entitlements from the various programs or the interaction between the programs. In fact, few attorneys have any significant experience in handling disability benefits cases.

It is for this reason that Elkind & Shea, The Disability Benefits Law Firm was formed. Our entire practice focuses solely on helping disabled persons receive the benefits they deserve. Our experience includes success in thousands of cases, both Social Security and private insurance, from initial application all the way through federal court appeals. Please visit our website at www.disabilitybenefitslawfirm.com and you can learn about the extent of our experience while learning valuable information concerning your rights to disability benefits. What you will discover is that we have handled situations similar to yours and have the knowledge and skill to provide the assistance you require. In order to assist the disabled, we offer free, no-obligation consultations over the phone for your convenience.

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