FREE EVALUATION
Are you receiving Social Security benefits?*
Has applicant been, or expect to be, out of full-time work for at least 12 months (earning under $980 in payroll checks per month)?*
Have you retained an attorney for your social security claim?*

Important Facts

  • What if I can't afford the medical care to get the medical documentation that I need for the social security administration? Usually there are other providers in the community that offer care at a reduced price or free...
    Important Fact
  • What if I can't afford the medical care to get the medical documentation that I need for the social security administration? Usually there are other providers in the community that offer care at a reduced price or free...
    Important Fact 2
  • Do I have to wait 1 year to apply for SSI/SSDI? No you should apply as soon as you become disabled if your condition is expected to last 1 year or more or it is expected to result in death...
    Important Fact 4
  • I missed the 60 day appeal deadline, do I have to start all over again? Not necessarily, if you can show that you had a good reason for missing your appeal deadline, such as being hospitalized...
    Important Fact 3
  • Do I have to wait 1 year to apply for SSI/SSDI? No you should apply as soon as you become disabled if your condition is expected to last 1 year or more or it is expected to result in death. ...
    Important Fact
  • What if I can't afford the medical care to get the medical documentation that I need for the social security administration? Usually there are other providers in the community that offer care at a reduced price or free...
    Important Fact

Glossary of Social Security Terms

Appeal (Appeal Rights)
You have a right to appeal against the decision by the SSA regarding your eligibility for social security or SSI benefits. You can initiate the appeals procedure once you have received a letter from SSA intimating you about their decision.

Application for Benefits
This is an application that you must complete and sign in order to receive social security benefits, supplemental security income or Medicare.

Benefit Verification Letter
The Benefit Verification Letter from Social Security serves as a verification for the amount than you will receive every month in benefits and, where applicable, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The letter is issued upon request by the recipient of benefits or the authorized representative.

Benefits
Social Security pays five types of benefits:

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

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

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
Social security benefits and SSI payments are subject to annual increases in amounts in order to stay abreast of inflationary increase in cost of living expenses.

Credits (Social Security Credits)
Earlier known as “Quarters of Coverage”, you accumulate credits as you pay taxes when you’re gainfully employed. These credits influence your eligibility for future social security benefits. You can earn up to four credits in a year. On an average, you need 40 credits to qualify for benefits. Younger people require fewer credits to reach the qualification benchmark for disability or survivor benefits.

Decision Notice (Award Letter or Denial Letter)
Your application for social security benefits is studied and based on the decision made by the SSA, you will either receive benefits or your claim will be denied. An explanatory official letter about the decision made is dispatched to you.

Direct Deposit
The customary method for receiving social security benefits and supplemental security income. The money is wired to an account in a bank, trust company, savings or loan association, brokerage company, or credit union).

Disability Benefits
You are a candidate for disability benefits if you –

  • Are under full retirement age
  • Have earned sufficient Social Security credits
  • Have a severe medical impairment (physical or mental) that can likely prevent you from doing “substantial” work for a year or more, or have a condition that will lead to your demise

Family Benefits (Dependent Benefits)
Upon your eligibility for retirement or disability benefits, the following people can receive benefits on your record:

  • Spouse aged at least 62 years or any age but caring for an entitled child under age 16 or disabled
  • Unmarried children aged under 18, or aged under 19 and full-time students at elementary or secondary students
  • Children aged 18 or above but disabled before the age of 22
  • Ex-spouses age 62 or above

Health Insurance (Medicare)
The federal health insurance program that is meant for –

  • Citizens 65 years or older
  • Young disabled people who meet the requirements of the program
  • Those who have undergone dialysis or a transplant because of permanent kidney failure…also known as ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease)

Insured Status
Insured Status implies that you have worked and earned sufficient social security credits to be eligible for retirement or disability benefits or have ensured eligibility for your dependents in a scenario such as your retirement, disability, or death.

Medicaid
A program run jointly by federal and state agencies; its objective is to help people with medical costs. These programs differ from one state to another. If you qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, then almost all health costs are covered.

Protective Filing Date
The Protective Filing Date is when you first contact the SSA for claiming benefits. It can be used as the application date instead of the day when the SSA receives your signed application.

Representative Payee
The SSA appoints a Representative Payee, friend or relative, for beneficiaries who are unable to take care of their financial affairs. They are appointed after strict due diligence and are required to keep detailed records of the SSI deposits, and share the reports with Social Security from time to time.

Retroactive Benefits (Back Pay)
These are monthly benefits you may get earlier than the month you apply, provided you meet the requirements.

Social Security

Social Security functions on the concept of you paying taxes into the Social Security system while you’re employed. Upon retirement or disability, you, your spouse and dependent children receive a monthly payment that is calculated based on your reported earnings.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal supplemental income program that is run on funds generated by general tax revenues (social security taxes do not contribute to SSI). Its objective is to help the aged, blind, and disabled with limited income and resources by giving them grants of cash payments each month for meeting basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.

Survivors Benefits
Benefits paid to those that survive you in case of your death –

  • Widow or widower aged 60 or above, 50 years or above if handicapped, or of any age if responsible for a child aged under 16 or disabled under 22.
  • Children who are not married and below 18 years of age, under 19 but in school, or 18 years and above but handicapped before the age of 22.
  • Parents, if you contributed to half of their support.

An ex-spouse could also be eligible for a widow/widower’s benefit on your record. A special one-time lump sum payment of $255 may be made to your spouse or minor children.

Wage Earner
Also referred to as the “Number Holder” or “Worker”, the wage earner is the person who is given Social Security credits while employed or wages or earning an income through self-employment.

Wages
Payment paid to an employee for services performed. They can be in cash. Compensations not paid in cash are also considered wages, unless a particular non-cash compensation is not covered by the Social Security Act.