Social Security Disability benefits, often referred to as SSDI benefits, provide income payments to workers who are disabled and unable to work for a substantial period. Demonstrating eligibility for benefits can be complicated, so workers often consult attorneys who have experience handling SSDI claims for assistance with the application process.
Fulton County SSDI benefits may include payments for family members as well as the disabled worker. An experienced SSDI attorney could further explain the types of benefits and the process to receive them.
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) provides financial benefits to U.S. citizens and limited categories of lawful residents through three main programs. The retirement benefit program is probably the best known. Under this program, those who have worked for approximately ten years qualify to receive monthly payments that are based on amounts earned during their careers.
SSDI benefits pay income to disabled workers through the Social Security Disability Insurance program. As with retirement benefits, workers must pay into the program through payroll taxes to be eligible for this compensation.
The other two benefit programs administered by SSA do not require beneficiaries to have made contributions under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Survivor benefits provide support to family members when a spouse or parent dies. Finally, the SSI program pays benefits to those with limited means who either suffer from a disability or have reached the age of 65.
The amount of Fulton County SSDI benefits will vary from one worker to another. Unlike workers’ compensation programs, which may pay benefits based on a set schedule according to the type of disability, SSA calculates SSDI benefits based on the wage earned by workers during their careers.
Earnings on which an employee has paid Social Security tax are averaged and then the agency applies a formula to calculate a base figure on which to set benefit amounts. The formulas are adjusted slightly every year. In addition, each year the amount of benefits a claimant may receive is capped. It is important to note that, if the claimant receives benefits through other government programs such as workers’ compensation, the SSA may reduce the amount of SSDI benefits paid to that claimant.
After the SSA approves an award of SSDI benefits, they will be paid starting six months after the onset of the disability, as calculated by the agency. The six month period begins with the first full month of disability.
The agency pays benefits the month after they accrue. So, in the example above, the first payment would be sent in January of the year after the disability began. In some situations, a claimant may be eligible to receive back pay. If back pay is appropriate, the amount will be calculated based on the date of the onset of the disability and date of the application for SSDI benefits.
When a worker qualifies to receive SSDI benefits in Fulton County, certain family members may also become eligible for benefits. These include:
Family members may receive an amount equal to 50 percent of the worker’s SSDI benefits. However, there is a maximum amount allowed per family, so the amount payable to each family member could be reduced.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an employee must have paid taxes through FICA for a sufficient period and that period must be recent enough to satisfy SSA standards. Also, the person must demonstrate that they have a disability that renders them unable to undertake gainful employment for one year. If a disability is expected to result in death, that also could satisfy the duration requirement.
More information about Fulton County SSDI benefits is available from the SSA. For assistance with the application or with filing an appeal if a claim for benefits is denied, it may be helpful to contact an attorney experienced with SSDI claims.
With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
We are ready to help you, and offer multiple ways to reach us.