Thursday, July 4, 2013

Navigate the Labyrinth with a Social Security Attorney

It is not hard to understand why questioning the size and scope of Social Security is such a hot button political issue: Social Security is a very large, very complicated program. However, one reason for this program’s labyrinth-like shape and size is that Social Security provides critical assistance to a huge number of Americans. Beyond its role in helping establish adequate retirement funds, Social Security also manages disability insurance for American workers to contend with this frightening statistic: the average 20-year-old American worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before he or she reaches retirement age. If you have experienced a debilitating injury, consider setting up a consultation with a Social Security attorney in Wilmington. However, all Americans should have a basic comprehension of these programs.

Four Basic Disability Programs

The Social Security Administration (SSA) awards disability benefits and other assistance through four different federal programs. Each program has its own eligibility requirements, benefit amounts, and payment timelines.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):All American workers earn credits by paying into the Social Security trust fund (in the form of a payroll tax) over certain duration of time. If you have earned sufficient credits and are then prevented from working for at least one year due to a physical or mental disability, you are eligible for SSDI benefits. 
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI):Only seniors (over age 65), the blind, or disabled individuals who also have very low-income levels are eligible for SSI.
  • Disabled Widows and Widowers Benefits (DWB):This program is provides benefits to the surviving spouses of a deceased worker. The amount the spouse will receive is determined by their partner's earned work credits (and thus how much money he or she paid into the Social Security Trust Fund).
  • Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC):DAC provides assistance to adult children who are disabled themselves andalso have at least one parent that receiving some type of Social Security benefits.

This is a very brief introduction to offer a sense of the variation in potential Social Security benefits. If you are already feeling intimidated or confused, you can see why it would be beneficial to turn to an experienced Social Security attorney in Wilmington in the event that you need to actually go through this process.

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