If you become disabled you may qualify for disability through disability insurance or through government aid such as social security. If you are low income you may qualify for benefits through Supplemental Security Income.
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You can apply for disability by contacting your insurance company or by contacting your local social security office. You may be able to qualify for disability through both insurance and social security, but social security will not pay out benefits until your disability insurance has maximized its benefits.
Applying for Disability through Disability Insurance
Disability insurance is usually provided by an employer or through group insurance. Oftentimes the employer pays for the disability insurance although an employer can make it an employee paid option as well. Regardless of whom pays for the premiums, if you have disability insurance and you become disabled you can apply for disability.
You will need to find out from you disability insurance policy or from your employer what type of disability insurance you have. You will have to start out applying for short term disability and if your short term disability runs out before you can return to work then you will need to apply for long term disability, provided you have insurance for it.
Applying for Disability through Social Security
In order to apply for disability though social security, you will need to contact your local Social Security Administration office. You can also apply with SSA online, which can be very useful depending on the extent of your disabilities. Phone assistance may also be available to help guide you.
Before you apply for disability, be sure you have all of the necessary paperwork to substantiate your claim. You should keep documented records of when your disability happened and how it occurred. Have a diagnosis from your doctor that details your injuries and the extent of your disability. It is also useful to have a treatment plan written out, especially if your short term disability may become a long term disability.
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you need to have earned enough credits through social security taxes paid through either an employer or through self employment income tax. The credits are awarded based on the income earned, which can change from year to year. Another factor to consider is the time frame that the credits are actually earned; at least half of your credits need to be earned within the last 10 years of your claim.
Applying for Disability through Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not the same as Social Security. Instead, it is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to low income persons who suffer a disability. In order to qualify for disability through SSI you need to have limited income (work and other monetary sources) and limited resources (cash, investments, and assets).
For qualification purposes, there are different definitions of disability for a child as there are for an adult. If a child from a low income home has a physical or mental impairment that will limit his functionality for at least one year then he may qualify for disability through Supplemental Security Income. He may also qualify if his disability is expected to lead to death.
An adult, which is any person that is 18 years of age or older, may qualify for SSI if he is of low income and has a physical or mental impairment that prohibits him from earning substantial income. His disability must be expected to last at least one year or be expected to result in death.
Regardless of income amount, certain people are not allowed to apply for SSI disability. Fugitive felons, inmates, and people who are in federal institutions are automatically disqualified. Furthermore, people who intentionally give away or sell assets at a loss just in order to reduce their resources will be disqualified and considered ineligible for a period of up to three years.
If you have disability insurance then you should first apply for disability through your insurance provider. Whether or not you have short term or long term disability insurance, you should also try social security disability insurance in case you have earned enough credits to offer you a benefit. If you are of low income and qualify for Supplemental Security Income you may be able to receive disability benefits through that program.
Without disability insurance you can face a scary financial road if you become disabled and unable to earn income. Health insurance will pay for your medical bills; but, only disability insurance will provide you with income if you are unable to work and generate a paycheck. Some employers provide you with disability insurance at no cost to you, but you can also get quotes from different insurance providers now by entering your zip code at the prompt.
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