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Social Security Disability Application Process

Those who suffer from an eosinophilic disorder or have a child with the condition can understand the financial stress it can present. For adults, it can be difficult to maintain full-time work due to the effects of the condition. For parents of a child who has been diagnosed, parents may feel the inclined to leave the workforce in order to care for their child. Both situations can put a family under financial strain. However, the Social Security Administration provides benefits that can help alleviate this burden. Social Security Disability benefits can provide your family with the monthly income needed to help pay for the building medical bills.

The Social Security Disability Programs
There Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two disability programs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs differ in their technicalities, but to qualify for either you must be considered disabled under SSA standards.

SSDI Benefits
SSDI works somewhat like insurance. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have earned enough work credits through prior work history. The work credits reflect the taxes that you have paid into the Social Security system, with the amount of credits needed depending on your age. To qualify for SSDI benefits you usually need a total of 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned over the past 10 years. A taxpayer can earn up to 4 work credits each year, with younger applicants may qualify with fewer work credits. http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ssdi/qualify-for-ssdi

SSI Benefits
SSI is a needs-based program for those who may not have enough, if any, work credits or who need extra support in addition to SSDI. Instead, you must meet certain financial criteria that have been set forth by the SSA. As of 2014, you must have a household income that doesn’t exceed $721 per month as an individual or $1,082 per month as a couple. You must also have no more than $2,000 in assets as an individual or $3,000 in assets as a couple to be eligible for these benefits.

Since children typically don’t have a work history, they will apply for benefits only under the SSI program. Parents or guardians applying for children will have to go through the parental deeming process. During this process, the SSA will evaluate your household income and resources to determine if your child is eligible and, potentially, the amount of monthly benefits your family could then receive.  Learn more at http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ssi/qualify-for-ssi

It’s important to note that even if you meet the above criteria for either or both programs, you must still prove to the SSA that you’re medically eligible to receive benefits.

Medical Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits
To be medically eligible for either SSDI or SSI benefits, you must have a condition that has lasted (or is expected to last) a minimum of 12 months. The condition must also prevent you from being able to perform any type of work activity. When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will compare your condition to a medical listing known as the “Blue Book”. The Blue Book lists all of the impairments that could potentially qualify an applicant for benefits and outlines the criteria that must be met for each specific condition.

Since eosinophilic disorders are not necessarily covered in the Blue Book, you, as the applicant, will need to prove that your condition either meets another Blue Book listing or you will need to be approved for benefits under a medical vocational allowance.  Medical vocational allowance can be granted by providing the SSA with enough medical evidence to prove that your condition completely prevents you from performing any work whatsoever. This is usually accomplished with medical records, a consultative exam, and a residual functional capacity form. http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disabling-conditions

Preparing for the Application Process
When preparing for the application process, you will need to gather as much medical evidence as you can to prove that your condition has resulted in a complete and permanent disability, inhibiting you from work. Gathering as many lab results, clinical histories, treatment histories, and other medical records as possible will help your claim.
Also, written statements from treating physicians noting how your disability interferes with your daily activities can also be greatly beneficial for purposes of the application. You will want to have all of these records and notes on hand and ready before you apply for benefits.

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits
As an adult, you can apply for disability benefits either online or in person at your local Social Security office. However if you’re applying for a child, it must be done in person. When applying for benefits, you will be asked to fill out a number of forms. It’s crucial that you provide as much detail as possible as these forms will be used, in part, to assess the severity of your disability. If you don’t provide sufficient information to prove your case, you may be denied benefits due to a lack of supporting evidence.

You may also be asked to attend a consultative exam after you apply for benefits. The purpose of this exam is to have an independent third party assess the extent of your disability to determine whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. There will be no treatment offered at this exam, as it’s purely for assessment purposes.

Receiving a Decision
It will take two to four months to receive a decision from the SSA in regards to your claim or your child’s claim. If approved for benefits, you will receive notice regarding what benefits you are entitled to, how much you will be receiving each month, and when benefits will begin.

If you’re denied benefits, don’t give up hope. You will have 60 days from the denial date to appeal the decision. The appeal process is where approval is most prevalent for most applicants.

Obtaining Legal Representation
Whether you have yet to apply for benefits or have been denied in your initial application, you should consider obtaining a disability attorney. As experts in the field, disabilities lawyers can ensure that you have all of the information needed to effectively present your case.

You won’t have to pay any money out of pocket for these lawyers, as they work on a contingency basis meaning they only get paid if you win your case. When you are awarded benefits, your attorney will receive 25% of the back pay you’re awarded, up to a maximum amount of $6,000. The Social Security Disability application process is well-worth the time and effort to receive the desired financial support for your family.

Special thanks to Social Security Disability Help for contributing this content. Learn more at www.disability-benefits-help.org.