Oklahomans who have mental illness, an injury or condition that leaves them disabled might be able to get Social Security disability benefits. However, many are unaware of the programs that are available to them, let alone how to take the necessary steps for an approval. Understanding the basics is the first step. Once a prospective claimant knows what programs the Social Security Administration offers, it will be possible to decide which one is applicable and move forward with the process.
The SSA provides benefits through several programs. A disabled person who meets the criteria should be able to get benefits. All programs require that the person be disabled for a minimum of 12 months or that the impairment will result in his or her death. There are two basic programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With SSDI, benefits will be paid to those who are disabled and worked for the required amount of time and paid Social Security taxes so that they are "insured." SSI is based on need regardless of the work history. SSI also available to people who are blind, disabled or 65-years-old or older. If there is a disabled child within a family that has limited financial resources, the child can get SSI.
Others are also able to get disability benefits. A person whose spouse died can get benefits based upon the late spouse's work record. It is for those who are age 50 to 60, are disabled and had the disability come about within seven years of the death of the spouse or to people who are 60 or older. An adult disabled child can get benefits if the disability was in place before age 22 and there is a parent who has died or is getting disability or retirement for Social Security.
Those applying for SSD benefits should know that the SSA will examine the case and its circumstances to decide which program is applicable and if the person meets the requirements to receive it. When there are concerns or questions about any aspect of Social Security disability, having legal help is paramount. These rules and regulations - even the basics - can be complicated and a lawyer is essential when moving forward with a case.