People who are no longer able to work because of physical or mental impairments may be able to claim disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Disability Insurance program, in particular, is meant to help people “insured” by the SSA. In this context, the meaning of “insured” is that you worked long enough and paid your Social Security taxes during your term of employment.
To protect the legitimacy of the Social Security Disability Insurance program, the SSA requires applicants to work through what can be a pretty complicated application process. Unfortunately, the SSA denies many applications the first time around. While you will still be able to appeal the SSA’s decision to deny a claim, it will be in your best interests to work with an attorney to get your initial application right.
At Hedtke Law Firm, we can help you determine your eligibility and then work with you to collect the documentation you need to file as complete a claim as possible. We know just how much this claim may mean to you and your family right now, and we have the experience and the resources to help you work though every aspect of the application process for these disability benefits.
Disabled Widow/Widower Benefits
In the unfortunate event your spouse passes on, you may be eligible to retain a portion of their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. To be eligible for surviving spouse benefits under the SSDI program, you must be at least 50 years old and have a qualifying disability prior to the death of your loved one. Of course, these are general rules for which there are exceptions. For instance, you may be eligible for survivor benefits if you are under 50 and care for a child who is under the age of 16 and who also received survivor benefits from your spouse.
If you were diagnosed with a qualifying disability prior to your loved one’s death—meaning you are not able to work because of a physical or mental impairment—your survivor benefits will be dependent upon your age. That means your survivor benefits may be less if you are at least 50 years old than if you are at least 60 years old, but not quite of retirement age. If you are of retirement age, you may be eligible to recover all of your spouse’s SSDI benefits, though there is a chance that it is not in your best interest to do so. To learn more about what is in your best interest, you should consider working with an attorney to file for these benefits.
Benefits for Adults Disabled Since Childhood
Adults disabled since childhood may not have had the opportunities to build the kind of work history necessary to qualify for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Individuals diagnosed with a physical or mental impairment that would otherwise qualify them for disability benefits may be eligible for SSDI benefits based on the earning record of their parents. The fact that an adult child has never worked will not affect the Social Security Administration’s decision to award benefits.
As a general set of stipulations for these benefits, adult children must be at least 18 years old, unmarried, and have a qualifying impairment that began before they were 22. Though there are some exceptions to these general guidelines, these stipulations must generally be satisfied in order for an applicant to claim SSDI benefits using their parent’s earning record. Moreover, adult children may not have what the SSA determines to be substantial earnings and receive benefits at the same time.
Consult with a California Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD/SSDI) Attorney
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with a physical or mental impairment you believe makes you eligible to claim disability benefits from Social Security, you should reach out to an attorney who can evaluate your claim and help you file it with the SSA when it is complete. To speak with an attorney at Hedtke Law Firm about the impairment, please call our offices at today. Our firm is proud to serve the people of California, and we will be happy to help you work through the process of claiming your disability benefits.
California Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Attorneys
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides needs-based benefits to people who are elderly, blind, or who have a disability recognized by the Social Security Administration. In many cases, this program is the only one available to people who do not have a long enough work history to qualify for disability benefits under the Social
Security Disability Insurance program.
Since SSI has strict income and asset restrictions that may prohibit some people from claiming these benefits, you should reach out to an attorney to determine your eligibility for SSI benefits. At the Hedtke Law Firm, our attorneys can evaluate your claim and then help you collect the necessary documentation to file as complete a claim as possible with the Social Security Administration.
There are some basic guidelines used by the SSI program to determine eligibility. For example, they define “elderly” as a person at least 65 years of age. To be “blind,” you must have 20/200 or less vision in your better eye when using a correcting lens. To meet the requirements for “disabled,” the Social Security Administration must diagnose you with a recognized physical or mental impairment.
Child Disability Benefits
In addition to adults, children may also be able to claim benefits from the Supplemental Security Income program. If a child has a medically determinable impairment that meets the definition for disability or blindness used by the program, they could qualify. For the purposes of the SSI, a child is anyone under the age of 18. Students count as children until they turn 22, as long as they regularly attend school.
While the definition for blindness is the same for children as it is for adults, the definition for disability is a little different. For a child to meet the requirements for disability, that child must have a physical or mental impairment that causes severe functional limitations. Even if they are married or heads of household, so long as applicants are under 18, they will still be under consideration for these benefits.
SSI benefits for children expire when a person turns 18 or, if they are a regular student, when a person turns 22. When a person is no longer considered a child by the SSI’s definition, they will need to be reevaluated as an adult in order to claim disability benefits through this program.
Consult with a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Attorney in California
If you would like to learn more about what financial assistance you may be eligible to claim under the Supplemental Security Income program, you should reach out to an attorney who can determine your eligibility.