Getting Social Security Disability Insurance can be difficult enough without facing an alphabet soup of terms — often acronyms — which you must understand. Perhaps we can help.
For starters, SSDI itself, as noted above, is disability insurance provided through the Social Security Administration, or SSA. This disability insurance is designed for Americans who suffer a physical or mental disability and cannot work before reaching full retirement age.
At retirement age, Americans instead can receive Social Security retirement benefits. But before that it can be SSDI or, as it’s also known, SSD (Social Security Disability).
Such benefits also may be referred to as DIB, or Disability Insurance Benefits, as well as Title II benefits, Title II being the Social Security Act’s chapter that designates such benefits.
There — now you know what you need if you’re under retirement age but can’t work due to a disability. You need SSDI, SSD, DIB or Title II benefits. They’re all the same, just with different names. For our purposes, we’ll use the most common term of SSDI.
Just don’t confuse SSDI with SSI, an additional kind of benefit. That means Supplemental Security Income.
SSI benefits are not paid through the SSA (remember: Social Security Administration), but rather through general funds of the U.S. Treasury. SSI is meant for blind or exceptionally low income persons.
Also called Title XVI benefits, SSI claims should not concern you if you are eligible for SSDI benefits.
When it comes to SSDI claims, one important factor is SGA, or substantial gainful activity. A physical or mental impairment which precludes you from performing substantial gainful activity — that is, work for pay — can be the basis for your SSDI claim.
Persons who are able to perform SGA may not be eligible for SSDI benefits. Persons who lack SGA may be eligible.
A related term, if you gain SSDI benefits, is TWP. That refers to a Trial Work Period. A TWP is an incentive that gives you a chance to test your ability to work without losing your SSDI benefits.
Another alphabet term for SSDI is RFC. What does that mean? It means residual functional capacity. And what does that mean? It means you still can perform work which you’ve performed in the past.
However, if you lose RFC — again, the ability to do work that you’ve already done — you may be eligible for SSDI benefits.
As determined by the SSA, RFC work can be done at various levels: sedentary, light, medium, heavy and very heavy.
In seeking SSDI benefits, you also may encounter the term COLA. That does not refer to a soft drink. Rather, it means this: cost of living adjustment. Annually, a COLA percentage is calculated to increase SSDI benefits in order to offset cost-of-living increases in society at large.
Another term related to disability benefits is NOSSCR. That signifies the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives, of which some SSDI lawyers are members, including attorneys with Jim Adler & Associates.
These lawyers have the skill, knowledge and experience to help guide you through the alphabet soup and complex technical demands of gaining Social Security disability payments.
You may need an SSDI lawyer to help file your claim, or to appeal a denial if your claim is denied, which happens to 60 per cent of claimants.
But take heart: As many as 60 per cent of appeals are granted. Often this involves appearing before an ALJ, or administrative law judge, to state your case — hopefully with help from an Adler SSDI attorney.
Contact us today and let us assist you. You’ll even get a free legal case review.
If that’s A-OK with you, let’s get started.