Social Security and Its Disability Benefits


Since it came into existence in the year 1935 after the President of the United States of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt, signed the Social Security Act to tackle the issues of poverty, disability, old age poverty, unemployment, children growing up in fatherless household, etc., Social Security scheme has undergone a number of amendments to include a number of benefits and schemes to increase its coverage so that it may reach maximum number of Americans. Social Security is officially known as the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. The funds for Social Security are collected from the payroll taxes levied on the working citizens and which helps a number of people in the long term, though it put a lot of financial constraint on the federal government.

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Major Disability Benefits Available under the Social Security Program

The Social Security program is a multipurpose scheme that helps individuals from all walks of life to stay financially strong even during the most turbulent times in their lives. From unemployment to retirement, it covers numerous aspects in life by providing financial support in small installments or in lump sum amounts, depending on the type of calamity or personal hardship. You may have lost a loved one, especially if you have suffered an accident that has caused you to become disabled; the Social Security will cover all these tragedies and will make sure that you do not live in dire poverty. If you have contributed towards the scheme, or otherwise as well, you may be eligible to receive the Social Security benefits at times of needs if you provide the required documents, proofs and are eligible under the Social Security Act. Some of the different types of disability program are –

Disability Insurance Benefits

Also known as DIB as well as the Title II Benefits, it is offered to the individuals who are not able to work or hold any form of employment due to their physical or mental condition (impairment). If their condition has been affected them for at least past 12 months or the medical expert believes will last for 12 months and their earnings are less than $900 per month (the amount increases every year keeping with the inflammation and increase in the cost of living), then they are entitled to receive the benefits under this program. Under the Social Security Act, such an individual or the claimant should also have worked long enough and must have contributed towards the Social Security through their FICA taxes to be eligible for the benefits; the specified rule is that the person should have worked for 5 out of the 10 years and then will be insured   for the DIB. The amount that the claimant received under the program is directly related to the amount of investment he has made towards the Social Security scheme while being employed. The longer a person has worked and the higher amount of earnings means more was paid into the program and hence the DIB benefits will be bigger. The person also receives the retroactive benefits that go back one year from the time of filing the application. When the person files for the DIB benefits, he has to wait for at least 5 months to receive them. So to put in simple terms, if you have been disabled and are not able to work because of it, and 12 months have passed then you can file the application to receive DIB but will have to wait for another 5 months to start receiving the payment. Additionally, if your minor children are dependent on you, then you are also eligible to receive the auxiliary benefits for the child’s care. For this, you will have to provide the child’s Social Security number to the SSA authorities; it does not matter if the child lives with you in your home or somewhere else, either way, the child will get the auxiliary benefits under the DIB

Supplemental Security Income

Also called SSI or the Title 16 benefits, Supplemental Security Income which provides aid to the individuals who have little to no resources for their sustenance, hence it is labelled as a “need-based” program. The basic eligibility criteria for SSI is the disability which has existed for past 12 months or will exist for 1 months or more and acts as an impediment towards gaining an employment. There are no 5 months of waiting period as in DIB and the person starts receiving the benefits within the same month of filing the application. But to be eligible for SSI, the household income of the claimant should be below to the amount specified in SSA.

Disabled Adult Child

If an adult child is disabled and his or her parents have passed away or are disabled themselves, then the child receives the benefits. The main medical requirements to receive the benefits are that your mental or physical impairment has rendered you incapable of working or getting the employment that is sufficient to sustain you financially. Also, it should have existed for the past 1 month or will continue to exist for the total period of 12 months. You also need to have the proof that the disability has existed before you turned 22. Along with this, your parents either should be the beneficiary of DIB or have passed away and had the DIB insurance in their name. Even if the claimant child has not worked, still they will receive the benefits on their parents’ contribution towards the Social Security Program.

Disabled Widow's or Widower's Benefits

If an individual is a disabled widow or the widower aged 50 or more, then they may receive the Social Security benefits based on their spouse’s (or erstwhile) Social Security insurance. The person can claim the benefits off of their former spouse if they had been married for a period of 10 years or more and the disability began before you turned 60 and within the 7 years of the demise of the spouse. But if you were still married to your partner, then the condition of being married for at least 10 years is not needed to be met. To register for the benefit, you will have to submit the proof of marriage like the certificate and also the divorce decree, in addition to your partner’s death certificate

Summary

During the time of financial need due to any form of disability, the Social Security Program will provide you with a strong support and will make sure that neither you nor your spouse or minor children may suffer because of financial crunch.