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Know Your Rights: How to File For Social Security in Indiana

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Social Security in Indiana provides income for disabled workers and disabled individuals in addition to providing retirement benefits for workers who have reached retirement age.  Becoming disabled is frightening. You still need to provide for your living expenses and your family’s living expenses. If you do not have private disability insurance or another form of income, you will be unable to pay your bills once your savings are depleted.

The government recognized that individuals who are disabled need financial assistance to provide for their needs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs designed to provide financial assistance to disabled workers and disabled individuals — the SSDI program and the SSI program.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a form of Social Security in Indiana for disabled workers. As you work, you pay into the Social Security system and you earn work credits. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you must be disabled and you must have earned 40 credits (20 within the last 10 years prior to becoming disabled).  However, younger workers may qualify for SSDI with fewer credits depending on their age at the time they became disabled.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the second type of Social Security in Indiana for disabled individuals. SSI is for individuals who are disabled but who have not worked during their lifetime or who have not worked long enough to earn the required number of work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits.  SSI is a needs based program; therefore, applicants must also meet financial requirements before receiving SSI benefits.

How Does the Social Security Administration Determine if I am Disabled?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own definition of disability.  You are considered disabled for SSDI and SSI benefits if you are unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA) to provide for your financial needs.  In order to be disabled you must:

  • Have a medically determinable mental or physical impairment;
  • That has lasted at least 12 months or is expected to last at least 12 months; or,
  • Is expected to result in death.

For children 18 years of age and under, there is a different definition of disabled under the SSI program.

To determine if a mental or physical condition rises to the level of a disability, the SSA uses its Listing of Impairments, also known as the Blue Book, as a guide. The Blue Book is a list of disabling impairments and the criteria for each impairment to be considered severe enough to make the individual “disabled” for SSA purposes. Medical professionals use the information in the Blue Book to assist the SSA in determining if a person’s medical condition meets the definition of being disabled.

Why Do I Need an Indiana Social Security Attorney?

You can apply for SSDI and SSI without an attorney; however, the application process can be complicated. According to SSA, the award rate averaged 36% for disabled-worker applications from 2004 through 2013.  The percentage of people who received approval on their initial Social Security disability application was only 24% during those years with only 2% of applicants receiving approval upon reconsideration and 11% receiving approval at the hearing level.

On average, disability claims are denied in 61% of the cases. Having an experienced Indiana workers’ compensation attorney can reduce the chance of making a mistake on your initial application that will result in a delay or a denial. Furthermore, if your disability application is denied, you have a very limited time to file an appeal the decision. An attorney who understands Social Security in Indiana knows how to fight for your right to receive disability benefits.

Contact an Experienced Indiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney

According to the SSA, over 12 million people are receiving disability payments as of 2014. If you are disabled and need to apply for Social Security in Indiana, we can help. Our Social Security attorneys understand the disability application process and the appeals process. We will take care of preparing and filing the necessary paperwork you need to apply for your disability benefits.

Contact The Ken Nunn Law Office at your convenience through our Live Chat system available online or call 1-800-CALL-KEN or 1-800-225-5536 for a free legal consultation. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions about Social Security in Indiana.

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