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SSDI and SSI Glossary of Terms

Did you know?

Out of over 2.1 million initial claims that were filed in 2004, just fewer than 800,000 were approved.

Disability Benefits

You can get disability benefits if you:

  • Are under full retirement age
  • Have enough Social Security work credits
  • Have a severe medical impairment (physical or mental) that's expected to prevent you from doing "substantial" work for a year or more, or have a condition that is expected to result in death

Family Benefits

When you're eligible for retirement or disability benefits, the following people may receive benefits on your record:

  • Spouse if he or she is at least 62 years old (or any age caring for an entitled child under age 16)
  • Children if they are unmarried and under age 18, under age 19 and a full-time elementary or secondary student
  • Children age 18 or older but disabled
  • Divorced ex-spouse.

Date of Onset

Your "date of onset" is considered the first day you are unable to work because of your disability. The date of onset may or may not be the same as the date you were diagnosed. Applicants usually use the day they last worked as the date of onset.

Month of Entitlement

Your "month of entitlement" to SSDI will be that month which is five full months following your last day of work (your sixth month of disability).

Back Payment

If your disability began more than six months before you applied for SSDI, you may be eligible for "back benefits." Applications for SSDI can be retroactive only up to 12 months.

Family Maximum

Family Maximum is the maximum amount of benefits payable to an entire family on any one worker's record.

Supplementary Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.

Appeal

Whenever Social Security makes a decision that affects your eligibility for Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits, we send you a letter explaining the decision. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal it (ask them to review your case). If their decision was wrong, they will change it.

Application for Benefits

To claim Social Security Disability benefits, you must complete and sign an application. You can apply for retirement benefits and spouse's benefits online, in person, or by telephone, or you can have one of our trained professionals help you.

Benefits

Social Security provides five major categories of benefits:

  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • Family (dependents)
  • Survivors
  • Medicare

The retirement, family (dependents), survivor, and disability programs provide monthly cash benefits and Medicare provides medical coverage.

Lump Sum Death Payment

A one-time payment of $255 paid in addition to any monthly survivor's insurance benefits that are due. This benefit is paid only to your widow/widower or minor children.

Widow

You are the widow/widower of the insured person if, at the time the insured person died:

  • You and the insured person were validly married, or
  • You would have the status of a husband or a wife for that person's personal property if they had no will, or
  • You went through a marriage ceremony in good faith that would have been valid except for a legal impediment.

The minimum age for

  • Disabled widows benefits are age 50.
  • Retirement for widows is age 60.

Always consult with an experienced social security disability professional when you need help getting your disability benefits.

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Jacoby & Meyers Social Security Disability Help Center

1-800-411-4LAW

A Jacoby & Meyers professional can help you at all levels of the administrative process to:

  • Assist you with your initial SSI & SSDI application, with filing your request with the Social Security Administration for reconsideration, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge or filing an appeal with the Appeals Council
  • Analyze your case under federal Social Security Disability regulations. Obtain a copy of your file from the Office of Hearings & Appeals to ensure that it reflects all your past medical treatment and that all records and documents contained therein are admissible as evidence
  • Ask that any prior SSI & SSDI applications for benefits be reopened
  • Protect your right to a fair hearing
  • Make any necessary Social Security appeals

      We are not retained until the contract is countersigned.

Please contact our SSDI lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. Jacoby & Meyers has offices nationwide.