Tag: Social Security Disability

What Types of Anxiety Qualify for SSDI?

What Types of Anxiety Qualify for SSDI?

SSDI and Anxiety
Have questions about SSDI and anxiety? Contact SSDA USA today!

Suffering from an anxiety disorder can be just as debilitating as suffering from a physical disability. The Social Security Administration has provided guidelines for people with anxiety disorders because of these levels of debilitation. So, what types of anxiety qualify, and what are the requirements? Not to worry – our team from SSDA USA is here to explain the link between SSDI and anxiety.

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

While a bit of nervousness and worry is normal in ordinary life, excessive terror and panic is prevalent in people with anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders differ from the normal stresses of everyday life.

Normally, people with anxiety disorders experience continuous terror, panic, or otherwise alertness with no clear indicator for such responses. Anxiety disorders can cause considerable disruption in people’s lives. Agoraphobia, for example, prevents an individual from leaving their home for fear of their safety.

Examples of Possible Anxiety Disorders SSDI Covers

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This disorder is perhaps the broadest of all anxiety disorders. It involves constant fear or worry about the future. The worry could be about minor things such as doctor’s appointments, or it could be about abstract concepts such as the long-term future. Physical symptoms may include tremors, excessive alertness, and persistent terror.

Phobias

Phobias involve the unceasing and irrational fear of a specific object or concept that is not generally thought of as being harmful. As such, phobias can cause such discomfort that people often take extreme measure to avoid the thing their afraid of. A common debilitating phobia is agoraphobia, the fear of leaving one’s home.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Previously called Social Phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder involves extreme anxiousness in social situations. For example, people with the disorder may have an extreme fear of public speaking, or perhaps they endure social interactions with great difficulty. Social Anxiety Disorder can cause severe disruptions in one’s personal, work, and romantic relationships.

What Qualifies My Anxiety for Benefits?

The above are just a few examples of common anxiety disorders. The reality, however, is that no matter what, you must meet Social Security’s requirements in order to qualify for SSDI because of an anxiety disorder. Here are the requirements:

You must meet the requirements of paragraphs A and B or of paragraphs A and C to qualify for SSDI because of an anxiety disorder.

A. Medical documents for a, b, or c:

     a. An anxiety disorder that is characterized by three or more of the following:

  1. Restlessness/Hyperactivity,
  2. Easily tired,
  3. Difficulty focusing,
  4. Excessive irritability,
  5. Tension of muscles, or
  6. Disturbance of sleep.

     b. A panic disorder or agoraphobia that is characterized by one or both of the following:

  1. Panic attacks followed by a continuous concern or worry about future panic attacks or their consequences, or
  2. Disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations (for example: public speaking, being in a crowd, being in a line, being outside of your home, eating in public).

     c. An obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that is characterized by one or both of the following:

  1. Involuntary and time-consuming preoccupation with intrusive, undesired thoughts, or
  2. Repetitive and possibly irrational behaviors or rituals aimed at reducing anxiety.

B. An extreme limitation of one or a marked limitation of two of the following areas of mental functioning:

  1. Understanding, remembering, or applying information.
  2. Interacting with others.
  3. Concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace/flow.
  4. Adapting or managing oneself.

C. Your mental disorder in this listing category is “serious and persistent”; that is, you have a medically documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of no less than two years, and there is empirical evidence of both of the following:

  1. Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support(s), or a highly structured setting(s) that is ongoing and that decreases or otherwise lessens the symptoms and signs of your mental disorder, and
  2. Marginal adjustment (that is, you have minimal to no capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands/requests that are not already part of your daily life) is present.

Steps to Take

The first step you should take before applying for SSDI is to consult an expert like those at Social Security Disability Advocates. Next, get the appropriate diagnosis. Without this, qualifying for SSDI becomes nearly impossible.

The next step is to present medical documentation along with your SSDI application. Remember, while a diagnosis from a doctor doesn’t alone prove disability (according to the SSA), it certainly helps a lot. Because of this, include all your medical records along with the names of doctors who have treated you, phone numbers, and addresses of medical facilities you’ve visited.

If your disability application gets denied, that’s OK. You can always try again. Consult an advocate from SSDA USA. We’ll make sure you have everything you need to qualify for SSDI.

Have Further Questions About SSDI and Anxiety?

If you have further questions about SSDI and anxiety, contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA right away! Our advocates are always on the line to help you with all your social security concerns.

Call us 24/7 at 602-952-3200. Additionally, you can contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature. Don’t keep your questions bottled up. Call one of our advocates today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Stop! Do You Know the Key SSI and SSDI Differences?

Stop! Do You Know the Key SSI and SSDI Differences?

SSI and SSDI differences
Have questions on the SSI and SSDI differences? Call SSDA USA right away!

While there is only a one letter difference between SSI and SSDI, the two programs are quite different. It’s important to know which program(s) you qualify for and how you can maintain your eligibility. So, let us from SSDA USA explain the two programs in detail.

What are the Similarities?

Both SSI and SSDI are federally operated programs overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Both programs aid people who are disabled, and both programs are subject to similar rules, according to the SSA. For example, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled to qualify for either program, and you must also earn under a certain amount. Even with this in mind, there are more differences between the programs than there are similarities.

What is SSDI?

SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. This is an entitlement-program that the SSA oversees. This means that financial need doesn’t necessarily play a part in eligibility for SSDI. SSDI aids people usually only if they earned a certain amount of work credits. This program essentially allows people who become disabled to take their retirement benefits early. The younger you are, the fewer work credits you need to qualify for SSDI.

Additionally, family members can benefit from your SSDI, whereas individuals with SSI can claim benefits only for themselves. Also, SSDI provides Medicare to its recipients after two years.

What is SSI?

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. This is a means-tested program overseen by the SSA that aids low-income individuals who are disabled, blind, or elderly. This means that financial need is a primary requirement, and that work history doesn’t necessarily play a part in eligibility for SSI. You do not need any work credits to qualify. However, SSI is a bit more strict. For example, your total assets cannot exceed a certain value. In addition, SSI offers Medicaid.

A Summary of Differences

SSDI is an entitlement program that requires work credits, while SSI is a means-tested program that helps those with a low income. SSDI members can sometimes claim benefits for their family members, but SSI members cannot do this.

Also, SSDI offers Medicare, while SSI offers Medicaid. In both SSI and SSDI, you must earn under a certain amount. However, only SSI looks at your total assets; in other words, your countable and uncountable income is analyzed. SSDI payments do count as income, so having SSDI could affect SSI eligibility. Though, it is possible to qualify for both programs at the same time.

Have Questions about SSI and SSDI Differences?

Social Security can be a confusing and frustrating pain to deal with, we know. But don’t keep your questions to yourself. Let one of our experienced professionals from Social Security Disability Advocates USA help you today. You can contact us anytime at 602-952-3200. In addition, you can contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature. Our advocates are always available and ready to tend to your every Social Security concern, so don’t wait! Call SSDA USA today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Are You Disabled According to the SSA?

Are You Disabled According to the SSA?

social security disability definition
Are you disabled under the Social Security Disability definition? Find out today!

Social Security doesn’t just aid the elderly and the impoverished. Disabled people also qualify for Social Security benefits.

But wait a minute:

How do you know if you are disabled? What exactly is the Social Security Disability definition? The rules surrounding Social Security Disability can be a lot to unpack, so let us from Social Security Disability Advocates lay bare the criteria for Social Security Disability benefits.

The Definition

For both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), an individual must meet certain criteria to receive disability benefits. If you meet all the following conditions, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits:

  •         You have a mental or physical condition that prevents you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and
  •         The condition has lasted or will last for a period of no less than 12 months, or
  •         The condition will result in death

This is the essence of what constitutes disability, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Under the Social Security Disability definition, certain conditions automatically qualify for disability status. These conditions are listed in The Blue Book, as the SSA calls it. Some of those conditions are:

  •         Cancer
  •         Musculoskeletal problems
  •         Neurological disorders
  •         Mental disorders
  •         Immune system disorders
  •         Respiratory illnesses
  •         And more . . .

Restrictions

There are some restrictions that come along with your disability benefits. For example, if you are receiving SSDI, earning SGA or above could put a halt on your benefits. The same goes for SSI. In addition, if you are a dependent and the primary recipient stops receiving benefits, you may stop receiving benefits as well.

The Social Security Administration is quite strict with who it allows for disability benefits. For example, if your disability prevents you from doing your current work but you can still do other types of work, the SSA will not see you as a qualified individual.

And of course, there are non-medical restrictions, too. For example, receiving SSDI not only requires that the individual meets the definition of disability and is unable to work, but also that they must have previously worked and earned a certain amount of work credits via FICA taxes. For SSI, individuals cannot possess assets with a net worth over a certain amount.

Documents

Before you can get your Social Security Disability benefits, you’ll need to prove you’re disabled. Therefore, you must show medical documentation proving you meet the Social Security Disability definition. You’ll need documents showing what your impairments are, any medications you’re taking, contact information for all your doctors, when they saw you and how they treated you, and lots more information.

Have Questions about the Social Security Disability Definition?

If you still have questions about Social Security, call SSDA USA today! Our advocates tend to your every concern, so don’t keep your questions to yourself. You can contact us anytime at 602-952-3200. Additionally, you can contact us online and check out our LiveChat feature. Don’t wonder or worry, call SSDA USA today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

Has Your SSDI Stopped?

Has Your SSDI Stopped?

SSDI stopped
Has your SSDI stopped? Call SSDA USA today!

So, your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) stopped. You’re probably wondering, “How could this happen?” Well, you’re not alone, and Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here to help.

There are a multitude of factors that influence your SSDI, everything from medical improvement to incarceration. It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the variables, so let us from Social Security Disability Advocates USA clarify some of the key issues surrounding your SSDI and explore some plausibilities for why your SSDI stopped.

You Went Back to Work

Going back to work is one of the most likely reasons for the reduction or cancellation of your SSDI benefits. SSDI requires that you not earn an amount equal to or above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit, which in 2019 is $1,220 per month for non-blind people or $2,040 per month for blind people.

Earning the SGA or above will initiate a nine-month trial work period in which you will still receive SSDI benefits. If you continue to engage in SGA after the nine-month trial work period, you will no longer be considered disabled, and your benefits will stop.

If you are unable to work after your SSDI stopped, you don’t have to reapply for benefits all over again. You can apply for an Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) of benefits. This is so people who unsuccessfully tried to go back to work can more readily reinstate their benefits if they lost their job after their trial work period.

Be careful, though! If you are working but earning below the SGA, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may still determine that the fact you are working means you are no longer disabled. The SGA is just a definite no-go zone for people working; you can still see a reduction or a cancellation of your benefits even if you do not engage in SGA. Of course, individual cases vary, so contact SSDA USA if you have any questions about your SSDI.

You Reached Retirement Age

The SSA prevents you from receiving disability and retirement benefits concurrently. Therefore, once you reach retirement age, your SSDI benefits will stop and you will be eligible for retirement benefits. You do not have to apply for Social Security retirement benefits right away, however. Delaying your retirement benefits can be extremely beneficial for many people. Just keep in mind, though, that your SSDI will stop once you reach retirement age. You should plan ahead for this and save up as much as you can to prepare for a change in your Social Security Benefits.

You Were Incarcerated or Institutionalized

Incarceration or institutionalization can suspend your benefits until you are free again. You will see a suspension of your SSDI benefits after 30 days of incarceration unless you willingly participate in a rehabilitation program. You should see a reinstatement of your SSDI in the month following your release.

Sometimes, you will see a cancellation of your SSDI even without any incarceration. For example, a felony conviction will automatically cancel your SSDI benefits.

Your Dependent’s Benefits Stopped

If you are receiving SSDI based on someone else’s earning record, your benefits may stop if certain changes occur. For example, if you are a child receiving benefits from your parent’s SSDI, your benefits could stop when you turn 18 or get married. Dependent’s benefits are usually different from primary benefits, so different rules apply. If you are a dependent, you should always be aware of what will affect your benefits.

Your Condition Improved

So, your condition has seen a medical improvement. That’s great, right? Well, it’s tricky.

If your condition sees a “medical improvement,” as the SSA calls it, your Social Security benefits could stop. This is because if your condition sees a medical improvement, the SSA may no longer consider you disabled.

Now, what is a medical improvement? According to SSA, “Medical improvement is any decrease in the medical severity of your impairment(s) which was present at the time of the most recent favorable medical decision that you were disabled or continued to be disabled. A determination that there has been a decrease in medical severity must be based on improvement in the symptoms, signs, and/or laboratory findings associated with your impairment(s).”

Now this may sound all fancy, but it simply means this: if your condition has improved to the point that you can work or potentially earn SGA, you will no longer be considered disabled. This means that medical improvement does not necessarily mean you will no longer be considered disabled. If you can prove that you cannot work and cannot earn SGA despite your medical improvement, you will still likely receive your SSDI benefits.

Wondering Why Your SSDI Stopped?

Contact Social Security Disability Advocates today! We are professionals, and we work tirelessly to address all your concerns. Call us anytime at 602-952-3200. Alternatively, you can contact us online or check out our LiveChat feature. Don’t let your questions bother you any longer. Contact SSDA USA today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.

Are You Getting Enough from your Social Security Disability Insurance?

Are You Getting Enough from your Social Security Disability Insurance?

how much ssdi
Wondering how much SSDI you should be receiving? Contact SSDA USA today!

Many people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance assume they are receiving the correct amount. Usually, they are. But there are a variety of factors that can influence how much SSDI you receive.

Here’s the gist:

It’s impossible to know right off the bat how much an individual will make from their SSDI. There are many factors to consider, everything from work history to disability status. Because of this, let us from Social Security Disability Advocates USA explain some common factors that affect how much SSDI you and your family can receive.

Employment Income

To qualify for SSDI, an individual must have a condition that 1) will result in death, or 2) has lasted or will last for no less than a year, and 3) prevents them from working above the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit (which, in 2018, is $1,180 or $1,970 for blind people).

You must consult your total work credits and work earnings to calculate your monthly SSDI payment. For most people, 40 work credits (approximately 10 years of work) is the prerequisite for collecting SSDI benefits. Younger people do not need as many credits, however. When calculating SSDI, SSA agents use a formula on your work earnings to figure out how much SSDI you will receive monthly. Check out this SSDI calculator for more info.

If you earn a monthly amount equal to or greater than the SGA, your benefits will likely stop. Working part-time and earning below the SGA will not necessarily stop your benefits, but you could see a significant reduction.

Medical Improvement

The entire point of SSDI is to aid disabled individuals. If you see any kind of medical improvement, you could see a reduction or even a halt of your benefits. A medical improvement is any kind of improvement that would allow you to go back to the work you were doing before, or even some new kind of work.

Incarceration

Crime charges and incarceration for more than 30 days will result in the reduction or cancellation of your benefits. You will be able to reinstate your benefits once you leave, but you will not receive any Social Security benefits while you are in jail/prison.

Family Changes

Sometimes, certain arrangements in the family can reduce or cancel benefits. For example, if you are a dependent receiving SSDI based on your parent’s record, your benefits will likely end if you turn 18 or get married. If you are receiving SSDI benefits based on your own record, however, getting married will not affect your SSDI benefits. Reaching retirement age also cancels your SSDI benefits, since you cannot receive Social Security disability benefits and Social Security retirement benefits in tandem.

Still Wondering How Much SSDI You Qualify For?

If you still have questions about Social Security, Social Security Disability Advocates USA is here to help! We work tirelessly to help you with any concerns you have, so call us anytime at 602-952-3200. Additionally, you can contact us online and utilize our LiveChat feature. Don’t wonder anymore about Social Security. Contact us today!

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.