6 Social Security Terms People with Disabilities Need to Know

Do you know how many people in the United States live with a disability? The last survey from the U.S. Census Bureau said the 56.7 million Americans have a disability, and though many of these people are still able to work, some are not. However, our government has a system to help, and that’s why it is important for people with disabilities to know these critical terms.

6 Critical Social Security Terms You Need to Know

  1. Disability Benefits—A person who can’t work because of a qualifying medical condition can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. But your condition must last at least one year or result in death and you have to have earned enough Social Security credits to qualify.
  2. Social Security Credits— Every $1,260 that you earn counts as a Social Security credit. You can only earn four a year and to qualify for Social Security, you must have 40 (That’s 10 years’ worth of credits.) However, to qualify for SSDI, you must have earned at least 20 in the past 10 years unless you’re blind or have a vision impairment.
  3. Supplemental Security Income Benefits—What if you haven’t been able to work enough to earn the credits you need to get SSDI? Well, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) exists for Americans with disabilities who have a limited income resources.
  4. Disability Claim Appeal—If your claim is denied, there is still hope for approval. You can enter the appeals process to take your claim before an administration law judge. That judge will determine if the denial of you claim was premature.
  5. Back Payments—Paperwork can take a long time to process. Back payments will cover the time between your application date and its approval. However, it’s important to remember that there’s a five-month waiting period on SSDI benefits. Back payments will only start after this period ends.
  6. Retroactive Benefits—If you didn’t immediately apply for benefits after suffering a disabling injury, this benefit will cover the time you were eligible for benefits before your application was approved. Retroactive benefits are only available to SSDI claimants.

Want to learn more about the ins and outs of our Social Security terms? Stick with our Tulsa disability attorneys, and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.


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