Social Security Disability Insurance, called SSD or SSDI, is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program of the United States government. It is managed by the Social Security Administration and is designed to provide income supplements to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability, usually a physical disability. SSD can be supplied on either a temporary or permanent basis, usually directly correlated to whether the person’s disability is temporary or permanent.
Unlike Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSD does not depend on the income of the disabled individual receiving it. A “legitimately” disabled person of any income level can theoretically receive SSD. Most SSI recipients are below an administratively-mandated income threshold, and indeed these individuals must in fact stay below that threshold to continue receiving SSI; but this is not the case with SSD.
Whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, the length of the process varies from person to person depending on where they live and the severity of their condition. Unfortunately, it is also possible for an individual to have their claim rejected, forcing them to appear at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At the initial stage, a Social Security Disability claim may take an average of just over three months to process. Reconsiderations make take another two months of processing time, while the wait for a hearing date in front of a judge can take more than two years. Approximately 70% of Social Security Disability claims fail on the first attempt, so patience is required when filing a claim.
More than 70 percent of Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims are initially denied by the SSA. A denied claim doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for benefits or that the government thinks you’re faking. It simply means that you have to exercise your right to appeal. The first appeal step is to ask the SSA for reconsideration. You’re asking the SSA to take a second look at the claim they just denied.
Disability benefits for workers and widows usually cannot begin for 5 months after the established onset of the disability. Therefore, Social Security disability benefits will be paid for the sixth full month after the date the disability began. The 5-month waiting period does not apply to individuals filing as children of workers. Under SSI, disability payments may begin as early as the first full month after the individual applied or became eligible for SSI.
Disability payments from private sources, such as private pension or insurance benefits, do not affect your Social Security disability benefits. However, workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits may reduce your Social Security benefits. Other public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefit are those paid by a federal, state or local government and are for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related. If you receive workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits and Social Security disability benefits, the total amount of these benefits cannot exceed 80 percent of your average current earnings before you became disabled.
When you reach full retirement age, nothing will change, except for Social Security purposes, your benefits will be called retirement benefits instead of disability benefits. You do not need to take any action. Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.