Top Disability Terms In SSDI And SSI Cases
Social Security Disability Lawyer In Tulsa OK Defines Common Phrases, Terms
Our Tulsa disability attorneys understand how complicated the Supplement
Security Income (SSI) and
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process can be. When filling out paperwork or reading information
about benefits, some words may be unfamiliar.
With this in mind, below is a glossary of commonly used terms by the Social
Security Administration (SSA) when describing disability benefits.
Disability Terms to Know
ALJ, or Administration Law Judge
When you are appealing a benefit decision, you may have a hearing before
an ALJ, who can award you benefits.
Alleged Onset of Disability, or Alleged Onset Date
The date you claim your inability to work began used to determine
retroactive back pay, which is discussed below.
Appeal, or Disability Claim Appeal
When applying for benefits, you will receive a letter from the SSA explaining
its determination of your eligibility. If the agency determines that you
are not eligible SSDI, then an appeals process exists that includes hearings
before ALJs and an Appeals Council.
Application for Disability Benefits
If you were to receive SSDI, then you must complete and sign an initial
application. On the application, the SSA will ask you questions about
your functionality as well as your disabilities. It may also require verification
or evidence of your condition.
Benefit Verification Letter
A letter that verifies the amount an individual receives each month in
benefits, usually sent at the request of a beneficiary.
Claimant, or Applicant
The term used to describe the person seeking Social Security benefits.
A medical exam that the SSA may require to process a benefit claim.
COLA, or Cost of Living Adjustment
Social Security recipients may receive a cost-of-living adjustment or raise
in benefits based on inflation.
Credits, or Social Security Credits
When you work, you earn credits that then count toward your eligibility
for future Social Security benefits, including SSDI.
Decision Notice, or Award Letter or Denial Letter
The letter generated by the SSA informing you of a benefit decision.
The maximum amount of benefits paid to an entire family on a worker’s record.
FICA Tax, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act Tax
The tax that is withheld from paychecks for funding Social Security and
Earnings used to determine benefit amounts including:
Earned Income – Wages and money from self–employment, royalties, honoraria
and sheltered workshop payments
Unearned Income – Such as Social Security benefits, pensions, state disability payments
and unemployment benefits
In–Kind Income – Income considered to be for food or shelter that you get for free
or less than fair market value
Deemed Income – From a spouse, parent or sponsor, which could be used to compute benefits
Listings of Impairments
Many conditions are listed in a manual known as the “Blue Book,”
which contains information for about processes through which disability
determinations are decided.
The maximum amount of earnings the SSA can count in any calendar year when
computing benefits totals.
A wage earner or person who earns Social Security credits.
OASDI, or Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance
The SSA’s retirement program that is separate from SSDI and SSI—this
can be confusing, as the program is often referred to simply as “Social
The day on which your payments are allotted each month depends on different
factors. To view the SSA’s payment schedule, you can
POMS, or Program Operations Manual System
Source of information Social Security employees use to process claims for benefits.
Documents submitted by individuals applying for benefits and services,
including birth certificates, marriage certificates, W2 forms, tax returns
as well as deeds. Most documents must be original copies or certified.
If someone is unable to handle their own financial affairs, then the SSA
may appoint a relative, a friend or an interested party to handle payments.
Retroactive Benefits, or Back Pay
To determine back pay, the SSA uses criteria including the date at which
you were disabled, the application date and the waiting period, which
is the period that takes place between when you apply.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
These benefits are available to low-income individuals who have not worked
or do not have credits. If you are not eligible for SSDI, then this may
be an option for you.
Benefits paid to widows, children and parents for people who died after
earning sufficient work credits.
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