Published on: August 23, 2016
Applying for disability benefits in the state of Florida can be a tough decision for someone to make. Often times the application process is convoluted and the Social Security Administration uses some complex text or jargon.
However, if you have decided to apply for disability benefits, there are some things you should know or think about prior to applying, such as:
- Your work history
- The severity of your condition
- Whether or not your medically disabling condition is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book
- Your ability to perform the tasks of your previous job
- Your ability to do any other type of work
Social Security Disability benefits are meant to help financially sustain those who are unable to do so themselves due to a qualifying medically disabling condition.
5 More Things Before Applying for Disability
The 5 things you should know about before applying for disability benefits previously mentioned are relevant and important to your application and their qualifying process.
However, there are 5 more things you should know about before applying for disability benefits.
1. Switching Disability Representatives
If you have chosen to hire a disability representative to help you apply for disability benefits and are thinking about switching representatives in the middle of your case, you may want to re-evaluate your decision.
Even though switching or having multiple disability representatives in Florida is legal, it will likely create a very complex process. The initial fee agreement with your first representative determines the amount of money the representative will earn and that agreement is no longer in force if you hire a second representative.
If you were to hire an additional representative, an additional payment process begins via a fee petition process.
2. Survivor Benefits
The Social Security Administration defines survivor benefits as a provided income for families of workers who have passed away and can include the following family members:
- (Divorced) widow(er)s
- Dependent parents
The SSA has also outlined 4 eligibility requirements based on the survivor’s age.
3. Children’s Eligibility for Disability Benefits
Children applying for SSI disability benefits can sometimes be even more challenging than adults applying.
For example, a child is only eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (unless that child can receive Social Security benefits as a dependent or survivor of his/her parents).
There are a variety of factors that affect whether a child is eligible for disability benefits, including:
- The child having both a medical and financial need
- If your child is able to function when on a prescribed medication from a medical professional
4. Your Income Requirements
In order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the applicant must income and resource limitationsl as defined by the Social Security Administration.
For individuals or children applying for SSI benefits in Florida, their resource level must be $2,000 or below; however, if a couple is applying for SSI benefits in Florida, their resourcelevel must be $3,000 or below..
5. Apply for SSI or SSDI?
Many people aren’t sure what the difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) is when they apply for disability benefits.
SSI is defined as compensation in the form of cash benefits to senior citizens who are 65 or older, to those who are blind or have another disability and who do not have much property or income from another source.
On the other hand, SSDI is defined as a wage or salary replacement income for those who have paid FICA taxes. An applicant might be eligible for either one or for both programs.
Thinking About Applying for Disability?
You don’t have to take on the added stress associated with applying for disability benefits. If you need professional and compassionate assistance with the SSA’s application process, contact a professional disability representative today.