The attorneys at Klok Disability Law, LLC realize that understanding disability benefits through SSDI, SSI, and veterans’ benefits can be confusing. Because we believe that you should understand all aspects of the application, appeals process, and general knowledge regarding disability benefits, we have provided FAQs to gain a further understanding of what you or your loved one is entitled to.
Q: What is the average time and acceptance rate of an SSDI application in South Carolina?
A: For an initial application, South Carolina has a 26.9% acceptance rate. On reconsideration, another 10.7% are accepted, and if you use an attorney through the appeals process another 58.7% of claims are accepted. The average wait time for a decision through the entire process is 340 days.
Q: What is “substantial gainful activity?”
A: SSDI considers substantial gainful activity to be earning more than a certain amount per month by working. The amount is determined by the nature of the disability, but for disabled people who are not blind the amount for 2015 is $1,090 per month.
Q: Can I return to work and still receive benefits?
A: Yes, you can return to work in some capacity and still receive SSDI benefits. Known as a trial work period, you can get earnings from work and still receive SSDI payments. However, you are required to report this change to your local Social Security office or through a toll-free number.
Q: Do SSDI benefits affect any Social Security retirement benefits?
A: Under the Social Security system, any disability benefits that you receive automatically convert to retirement benefits when you reach full retirement age. It does not allow for both types of benefits to be received at the same time.
Q: Can I receive SSDI and still get other types of disability benefits?
A: Yes, if you meet the requirements for other disability benefit programs you may collect SSDI at the same time. However, it is important to check the requirements for each program, as many are not the same. For example, SSDI requires total disability, while veterans’ disability benefits allows for partial disability.
Q: Where can I find out more information regarding veterans’ disability benefits?
A: You can find out more information regarding veterans’ disability benefits by visiting our firm’s page, found here. You can also find your local regional benefit office through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website and visit in person, or you can find the information on the Veterans Administration page.
Q: What types of claims can be made for veterans’ disability benefits?
A: There are a number of types of claims that apply to veterans’ disability compensation. These include pre-discharge claims, claims based on pre-service disabilities, claims based on in-service disabilities, claims based on post-service disabilities, and claims made on special circumstances.
Q: What is the “Fast Track” option for veterans’ disability benefits?
A: Also known as the “fully developed claim” program, this option allows for a faster response in the processing of your claim by submitting all of your medical records with your initial application. You are also eligible for this option if you are only claiming one or two disabilities, even if you do not have your full medical records.
Q: What if my claim for veterans’ disability benefits is denied?
A: If your claim is denied, an experienced attorney can work with you to file a Notice of Disagreement appeal with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.
Q: What makes you ineligible for veterans’ benefits?
A: In certain circumstances, a veteran cannot receive benefits for their disability claim. These situations include becoming disabled through misconduct, being dishonorably discharged, occurring while the veteran was avoiding duty (like going AWOL), or if the disability occurred while the veteran was in prison or detained due to a court martial or civil court felony.
Q: How do income and resources affect my SSI benefits?
A: Income is considered money that you make from working, and resources are things that you use to pay for necessities like food and shelter. Resources include bank accounts, personal property, and real estate. Both income and resources are considered when determining whether you should be awarded SSI benefits.
Q: Does getting married affect SSI benefits?
A: If you get married, your spouse’s income and resources may decrease the amount of your SSI benefits. If you get married and then apply for SSI, you and your spouse will receive the couple rate instead of the individual rates.
Q: What are the SSI benefits for 2015?
A: The monthly maximum Federal amounts for 2015 are $733 for an eligible individual, $1,100 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse, and $367 for an essential person. This makes the yearly amounts $8.804.43 for an individual, $13,205.18 for a couple, and $4,412.31 for an essential person.
Q: Does South Carolina have an SSI Supplement?
A: Yes, South Carolina does have an SSI Supplement program that will make additional monthly payments to certain recipients of the system. It is run by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Q: What is an SSI review?
A: Every once in a while, the Social Security Office will review your eligibility and need for SSI in addition to verify that you are not being overpaid for your need. You are asked about any income, resources, and life changes that may affect the amount that you receive.