Fact Sheet - SS Disability Benefits by xiaopangnv


									                                                                                                              June 2012
                                                                                                        ALSP Law Series

              Social Security Disability Benefits Overview

The Social Security Administration pays disability                   They will use information evidence from your doctors,
benefits through two programs: the Social Security                   hospitals, clinics or institutions where you have been
disability insurance program and the Supplemental                    treated. They will ask your doctors:
Security Income (SSI) program. This fact sheet is about               What your medical condition is;
the Social Security disability program.                               When your medical condition began;
                                                                      How your medical condition limits your activities;
Who can get Social Security Disability Benefits?                      What the medical tests have shown; and
Social Security pays benefits to people who cannot work               What treatment you have received.
because they have a medical condition that is expected to
last at least one year or result in death. This is a very            They also will ask the doctors for information about
strict definition of disability. While some programs give            your ability to do work-related activities, such as
money to people with partial disability or short-term                walking, sitting, lifting, carrying and remembering
disability, Social Security does not.                                instructions. Your doctors are not asked to decide if you
                                                                     are disabled.
Certain members of your family may qualify for benefits
based on your work. They include:                                    How do I apply for disability benefits?
 Your spouse, if he or she is age 62 or older;                      1. There are two ways to apply for disability benefits.
 Your spouse, at any age if he or she is caring your                   Apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov; or
    child that is younger than age 16 or disabled;                   2. Call the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to make
 Your unmarried child, including an adopted child,                     an appointment to file a disability claim at your local
    or, in some cases, a stepchild or grandchild. The                   Social Security office or to set up an appointment for
    child must be younger than age 18 or younger than                   someone to take your claim over the telephone.
    19 if in elementary or secondary school full time;
 Your unmarried child, age 18 or older, if he or she                If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call our toll-
    has a disability starting before age 22.                         free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and
                                                                     7 p.m. on business days. If you schedule an
In some situations, a divorced spouse may qualify for                appointment, they will send you a Disability Starter Kit
benefits based on your earnings if you were married for              to help you get ready for your disability claims
at least 10 years, not currently married and is at least age         interview. The Disability Starter Kit also is available
62. The money paid to a divorced spouse does not                     online at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability
reduce your benefit or any benefits due to your current
spouse or children.                                                  The ALSP Law Series is produced by the Arkansas Legal Services
                                                                     Partnership, a collaboration of the Center for Arkansas Legal
                                                                     Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas, Inc. These nonprofit
Who decides if I am disabled?                                        organizations provide free legal services to eligible Arkansans who
The Social Security Administration will review your                  meet income, asset and other guidelines. Legal services may include
application to make sure you meet the basic                          advice and counsel, brief services, or full representation depending
requirements. They will check whether you worked                     on the situation. Additional information can be found at:
                                                                     arlegalservices.org. To apply for services, call 1-800-9LAW AID.
enough years to qualify and evaluate any current work.
                                                                     The information and statements of law in this fact sheet should not be
If you meet these requirements, they will send your                  considered legal advice. This fact sheet is provided as a broad guide
application to the Arkansas Disability Determination                 to help you understand how certain legal matters are handled in
                                                                     general. Courts may interpret the law differently. Before you take
Services office. This state agency completes the                     action, talk to an attorney and follow his or her advice. Always do
disability decision. Doctors and disability specialists in           what the court tells you to do.
the state agency ask your doctors for information about
your condition.                                                      Content provided by the Social Security Administration
                                                  Arkansas Legal Services Partnership
                                      Center for Arkansas Legal Services & Legal Aid of Arkansas
                                           1-800-9 LAW AID or www.arlegalservices.org

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