Below is a list of frequently asked questions concerning Social Security and its disability programs. I have compiled this list based on different questions my clients have asked me over my years of practice. If you have a more specific question or issue you would like to discuss please call 419-740-8615 for a formal consultation or fill out an email form in the section below.
What is “Social Security” and where does its money come from?
In its most basic sense Social Security is a federal program meant to provide payments to retired or disabled workers and their survivors. Social Security is funded by FICA taxes (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. Taxes under FICA are commonly referred to as “payroll taxes.” Employers withhold these payroll taxes from employees' paychecks and file them directly with the IRS. These “payroll taxes” form the workers' contributions to the Social Security program.
What is Social Security Disability?
Social Security Disability or SSDI is a federally administered disability insurance program run by the Social Security Administration. In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability you must have sufficient work credits in addition to meeting the legal definition of disability. Vocational factors like age, education and work history play a significant role in determining who is and is not legally disabled under Social Security regulations. The determination is not straightforward and could take multiple appeals as well as a judge's hearing before the process ends.
Many individuals prefer to navigate this process with the help on an experienced attorney representative. Attorney David Newcomb is here to help with the professional expertise of someone who has worked in this field for years. Whether you are at the very beginning filing an initial application, filing an appeal or preparing for a judge's hearing, David Newcomb is here to guide you through this long and complex process.
For a more detailed description of the Social Security Disability program please see the link below.
What is SSI?
SSI is a second disability program administered by the Social Security Administration. There are no work requirements for the SSI program. You may be eligible for SSI even if you have never worked however there are strict income and asset limits for the SSI program. SSI has a dollar for dollar offset for any other earned income a claimant has. Additionally, SSI imposes an asset limited of 2,000 dollars in gross assets with one house and one automobile exempt. The asset limit increases to 3,000 dollars for a married couple. The medical disability determination is the same for SSI and SSDI.
For greater detail on the SSI program please see the link below.
How much would my monthly disability benefit be?
The monthly disability benefit for any one claimant varies greatly based on a multitude of factors. The most important factor being whether you are receiving SSI or SSDI.
A claimant's monthly SSDI benefits is proportional to what they paid into their payroll taxes during their working years. The end number is slightly different for every individual claimant. To give a general idea, Social Security reports the average monthly disability benefit for January 2021 to be 1,459.46.
The link below takes you to a chart published by Social Security indicating the average monthly disability benefit from January 1992 to present:
SSI recipients receive a flat monthly benefit with deductions for any other earned income. For calendar year 2021 the maximum SSI benefit for an individual is $794 per month. This marks a 1.4% increase over the 2020 number. The number is adjusted at the start of every calendar year for inflation.
How do I apply for Social Security Disability or SSI
When one wishes to file a new claim for either SSI or SSDI they have a few different options at their disposal. Currently claimants can file new applications online, over the phone, or with the assistance of a third-party attorney or representative.
Historically, claimants had the additional option of filing new claims in person at their local Social Security field office. In March 2020 all Social Security field offices were closed to the general public in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Those offices have not yet re-opened. The recent office closures make it an impossibility to file your disability application in person at this time. Presumable the general public will be able to file in person application again in the future however no plans to re-open the field offices have been made public at this time.
For more detailed information on the SSI program please see the link below:
What can Attorney David Newcomb do for me?
Attorney David Newcomb guides you through the disability process every step of the way. He can assist you in building the best possible case you can by filing your case, helping you to collect the proper evidence, by creating custom questionnaires for your doctors to fill out on your behalf, and finally by representing you at a disability hearing with an administrative law judge. Attorney David Newcomb briefs and preps every case as if it were his own. If you want an attorney who truly cares about the outcome of your disability case, who will give you personalized attention and treatment then you want Attorney David Newcomb to handle your disability claim.