FAQs Answers

What is Social Security Disability?

If you are an American or documented worker who has worked in this country for at least 5 of the last 10 years, the deductions made for your Social Security taxes have been placed into a fund for you to be paid as a monthly income should you become disabled according to the social Security administration Guidelines.

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Who is eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD)?

If you are under the age of 65 and are disabled and have sufficient earning credits as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) you are entitled to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits. If you do not have enough credits to qualify for SSDI you may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The amount of your SSI payments will depend on the household income and assets.

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How Can I tell the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Social Security Income?


SS Disability


Disability Standard:

Same for both programs

Same for both programs

Source of Payment

Social Security Trust Fund

General Revenue

Amount of payment:

Based on worker’s earnings

Federal amount set by Congress plus state supplement, if any, set by state.  State Supplement amount may vary according to living arrangement.

Payment to Children:

Yes, additional payment based on earnings records to children under age 18 or under age 19 And still in high school.

No increased federal payment for child; but some state SSI supplements add money for Children. Otherwise, children may receive welfare, which is not counted as income; i.e., welfare does not reduce SSI benefit amount.

Payment to spouse:

Yes, if child in spouse’s care is under age 16 or is disabled. There is an income limit for Spouse’s payment

No increased federal payment but some state SSI supplements add money for spouse.

Earnings requirement:

Fully insured (1 QC for each year after age 21): and disability  insured status (20/40 rule)


Asset limitation:


$2,000 individual, $3,000

Unearned income limit:


A small amount is disregarded; the rest is deducted from SSI benefit.

Earned income limit:

Same for both programs for claimants; SGA results in step one denial

After individual is receiving benefits, SSI has more liberal rules designed to encourage work.

Waiting period:

Five full months from date Of onset of disability

For applications on or after August 11, 1996, payment begins with first of month after all requirements are met.  For earlier applications, payment begins with date of application if all requirements are met.

Retroactivity of application:

12 months if all requirements are met

No retroactivity.

Time limit for reopening:

4 years

2 years

Payment processing office:

Baltimore or regional payment center

Local Office

Payment applies to:

Previous month

Current month

Payment Date:

Varies by birthday except concurrent cases paid on 3rd of month

1st day of month




Check says:



Attorney’s fees:

25 percent of past due benefits withheld for direct payment

No witholding.

Medical coverage:

Medicare begins after receipt of 24 months of benefits.

Medical coverage in most States begins with entitlement to SSI (sometimes 3 months before).

Eligibility of legal aliens:


Aliens who were lawfully residing in the U.S. on August 22, 1996 are, for the most part, eligible for SSI disability benefits; but those who arrive later are ineligible with limited exceptions.

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How is entitlement for Disabled Worker’s Benefits made?

You Must have the required work credits, and your health problems must:

  • Keep you from doing any kind of substantial work (described below), and
  • last, or be expected to last for at least 12 months in a row, or result in death.

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To how much am I entitled?

Amounts vary but you may be eligible to receive between $650.00 per month to $2,000.00 per month from the Social Security Administration and perhaps more depending on what you have paid into the system and the number of legal dependents living in your home. Social Security Administration states that as of December, 2002, the average monthly benefit for disabled workers in Florida is $943.00 and $281.00 for dependents of disabled workers. This amount has been subject to yearly COLA amounts and has increased ever since.

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How do I contact Social Security?

For more information, visit the SSA website at www.socialsecurity.gov or call toll free, 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778).The SSA can answer specific questions from 7a.m. to 7p.m. Monday through Friday and can provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day.

The SSA will treat all calls confidentially, and also wants to make sure you receive accurate and courteous service. That is why the SSA will have a second Social Security representative monitor some telephone calls, so be sure to be courteous and kind as well.

So we hope that this information has been helpful. If you need any further information concerning the inter-play of disability, (SSDI) and retirement and which would benefit you and your family prior to reaching full retirement age contact us through this website.

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Do I need medical evidence to win my SSDI or SSI case?

Yes. It is established law that the lack of medical treatment is a strong factor against finding disability. Moreover, the regulations prohibit the award of benefits to those claimants who refuse to follow prescribed treatment. The rule is that you must treat medically and follow what your doctor prescribes or you may expect no help from the SSA.

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How do I apply for SSD or SSI benefits?

You can telephone the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and select the option of either having your application taken over the telephone or by going to your local social security office to apply for benefits. The 800 number is open between 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The tele service is most busy on Mondays and Tuesdays and between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily.

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If I want to apply for SSDI benefits, what are my next steps?

To expedite your SSDI claim, gather the following information:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Contact information for doctors and hospitals that have treated you, including dates.
  • Your most recent W2.

Call our office today 352.671.6700, toll free 866.671.6700.

Apply for dependent SSDI benefits at the same time.

Submit the following documents to your Long Term Disability case manager.

  • Social Security Reimbursement Agreement
  • Authorization to Release Social Security Claim Related Information
  • Family Information Questionnaire
  • Your receipt of application from Social Security

Call your Long Term Disability case manager if you have any questions or concerns about applying for SSDI benefits.

Be persistent. Social Security disability benefits can help you and your family significantly.

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How does Social Security and Medicare Work to help Me?

Social Security pays retirement, disability, family and survivors benefits. Medicare, a separate program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, helps pay for inpatient hospital care, nursing care, doctor’s fees, drugs and other medical services and supplies for people age 65 and older, as well as to people who have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years or more. Medicaid a State run federally funded program will supplement and pay for your medical case if you are disabled for your first two years of disability. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, so you may want to consider options for private insurance. Your Social Security covered earnings qualify you for both programs. For more information about Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048) if you are deaf or hard of hearing).

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To schedule a consultation, contact the DiLorenzo Law Office at 352.671.6700, at our Toll Free number 866.671.6700 or by completing our online contact form. We place great emphasis on returning messages promptly.

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