Disabled? What You Need to Know About Nevada Social Security

If you are in or about to begin the Nevada social security process, here is everything you need to know. If you reside in Nevada, and you become disabled and cannot work, the federal government will offer you one of two programs to help aid you: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Even though, these federal programs, a Nevada state agency will decide who qualifies as disabled and who don’t qualify. 

Social Security Disability Insurance Overview

Social Security Disability Insurance is commonly known as SSDI. The Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that will pay you monthly benefits if you become disabled prior to reaching the retirement age and you cannot work. Some people commonly refer to this as “worker’s disability”. 

Nevada Social Security Disability Eligibility

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to have worked a certain amount of years in a position where you were paying Social Security taxes. You will need to have earned a specific number of work credits. You will be eligible to earn up to four work credits per each calendar year. 

If you haven’t met these criteria, but you found yourself disabled, and do have a few assets and low income, you will want to apply for the Supplemental Security Income instead. 

Work Credits

The work credits will ultimately depend on how old you are when you became disabled. For instance, let’s say you are 50 years old and you become disabled, you will need to have accumulated around 28 work credits, or have worked at a job where you paid Social Security taxes, but you will need to have worked a minimum of 5 of those years within the last decade. 

Medical Eligibility

Also, in order to qualify for the Social Security Disability, you will need to have a medical condition that will meet the SSA disability definition. You will also like to know that the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are only for those who are severely disabled, long-term disabled, or totally disabled. 

Severely disabled just means that your medical condition will ALWAYS with simple, basic work-related duties. While long-term disability means that your medical condition is expected to interfere with your work duties for at least a year. While if you are totally disabled, that means the SSA has proved that you will never be able to perform gainful activity for a minimum of a year. 

Now, you will want to know that if you are currently at a job working and making over $1,220 every month, or for those applicants that are blind $2,040, the SSA will say that you are performing well and you are not disabled enough that you will qualify for these Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. 

Approval for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

After you finally have been approved for your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you will be told that you will not start receiving them until you have been disabled for 5 FULL calendar months. This is due to the five-month waiting period for these Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.  Let’s say you’ve been approved straight away; you will still be required to wait those five months before you will start receiving your benefits. 

But being approved straight away is not the norm for many people. It typically will take an individual anywhere from 6-month a year. In this case, when you finally get approved for your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you will get your back pay starting from month six after your disability began. This will go from your disability onset date. 

Once you get paid any back pay that you are owed, you will start getting your benefits every month. You will want to keep in mind that if your household income exceeds a certain amount, you will be required to pay taxes on your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. 

Keep in mind that your family members could also be eligible for some partial monthly benefits as well. When we say family members, they will mostly be your dependents or children in simpler terms. 

You will be eligible for keeping your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for as long as you are disabled and cannot work. However, you will need to know that the SSA will conduct a disability review on your case between every one to three years, to see if your medical condition has improved and to see if you can now work. 

Denial for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

If your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits application was denied, do not fret, most initial applications are commonly denied. However, you can appeal the decision. 

You will need to request for them to review your denial, but the catch is you will need to do this within 60 days of your denial letter. 

The first thing you will need to do when appealing is a request for reconsideration. A request for reconsideration is where they will review your case with a different disability claims agent. If they deny you again, you will move on to the next step, which is then asking for a hearing with the administrative law judge who works in the SSA. 

Supplemental Security Income Overview

Supplemental Security Income is also commonly known as SSI. Supplemental Security Income is the second federal program that will pay you a small amount to low-income people who are blind, disabled, or over the age of 65. 

Supplemental Security Income is made for individuals who do not have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. 

However, Supplemental Security Income should not be mistaken for the Social Security Income program. The funds that you receive from Supplemental Security Income does not actually come from the Social Trust Fund or even the Social Security taxes. 

How Much Does Supplemental Security Income Pay?

Of course, you want to know what small amount of benefits we are referring to. You want to figure out how much you will be getting. Well, for starters, the Supplemental Security Income is solely based on “federal benefit rate”. The federal benefit rate for 2019, stands at $771 per month for an individual or $1,157 for a couple.  You will want to keep in mind the federal benefit rate will increase yearly due to the cost of living. 

How Your Income Will Affect Your Supplemental Security Income Pay

If you already have some income coming into your household that is not Supplemental Security Income, some of it, but surely not all of it can be subtracted from your Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The SSA will look to see what income you have that can be included. Included income will consist of the following: 

  • Money that you make from work. Event eh smallest amount of money is still going to be counted towards Supplemental Security Income. 
  • Shelter or food that you receive for free, or what is less than the value of it. This is commonly known as in-kind support and maintenance. 
  • Any money that you receive from family and friends
  • Any benefits you receive including, but not limited to unemployment, pension, Social Security Disability Insurance, or workers’ compensation. 

However, you should know that not ALL income will be subtracted from your Supplemental Security Income benefits. The SSA will not subtract the following items: 

  • The first $20 out of ALL income that you get
  • The first $65 of money that you earn through your job
  • Half of your food stamps
  • Your income tax refunds
  • Shelter or food that is given to you by a nonprofit agency

How to Calculate Your Supplemental Security Income Payment

For example, the SSA will take into consideration when calculating your Supplemental Security Income payment. So, let’s say that you make $625 per month, and this is before taxes. The SSA will not count $20 of that income every month along with the first $65 of that either. So, in total your income at $540. 

You will want to also keep in mind that the SSA will not count half of these earnings, which brings it down to $270.  Ultimately, the SSA will only be countable for $270, so your Supplemental Security Income payment would be $501, which would bring up your monthly total to $771. 

How Do You Get Supplement Security Income?

For you to submit your application for your Supplemental Security Income, you will need to head into the Social Security field office near me. The application will be completed by a Social Security claims representative that works at the Social Security field office. These Social Security claims rep will also help with doing retirement claims, along with the Social Security Income applications.

After the Social Security Claims rep does your application, they will process it and then forward it to another agency that will make the medical consideration on the Social Security Income. In most cases, the Social Security office will send applications to Disability Determination Services. 

When the Disability Determination Services receives your Supplemental Security Income application, your application will be assigned to someone who will then go through the medical process of this application. This person is a specialist, or what they like to call a disability claims examiner. The disability claims examiner will be the one who will be sending out letters to your treatment sources, such as counselors, doctors, hospitals, and the like. The disability claims examiner will be looking for all your medical records. 

You will want to keep in mind that many of these medical providers may be extremely slow when it comes to sending out copies of your medical records. Large hospitals or large medical facilities for that matter can take months to send out copies of your records, even if the disability claims examiner calls them daily. 

The disability claims examiner will have to wait until ALL the medical records arrive before they can fully evaluate your case. Once all the records do arrive and they are on the disability claims examiner’s desk, they will officially be looked over by the examiner along with being consulting by a physician when making their decision. 

What is the Deciding Factor for Getting Supplemental Security Income? 

Getting approved for the Supplemental Security Income will all boil down to your medical records. 

Just for this reason alone, you will want to continue going to your doctor, so when your Supplemental Security Income application is being reviewed, you will have an established medical history, but you will also have very recent medical records. 

You will need to keep in mind that the examiner is looking for records that are no older than 60 days. They do this to determine if you are currently as of right now disabled. They are not looking to see if you were disabled a few months ago.

That is why it is important that you are going to a doctor who is also on board with you filing for Supplemental Security Income. Having a supportive doctor will make it that much easier. As they will know they need to leave awesome physician’s notes as these notes will have a great impact on whether you will be approved for Supplemental Security Income. 

Note: You need to make sure your medical records outline what you are still mentally and physically capable of doing. This will be a HUGE help. 

Other Factors for Getting Supplemental Security Income

As we have mentioned a bit before, approval will be completely dependent on the severity and nature of your disability, but we are going to dive in and talk about a few factors that we have noticed that makes a huge difference as to whether you will be approved for Supplemental Security Income benefits. 

Before we get into these factors, you will want to know that some of these can be challenging for some or all Supplemental Security Income applicants. Now, these factors are the following: 

Work History

Majority of the people applying for Supplemental Security Income have not necessarily worked throughout the years. Even though this program does not have a work history requirement such as the Social Security Disability Insurance program, the Social Security claims examiner will have a hard time seeing if you are or are not capable of working, if you have not tried. It is best to try and get a job rather than say you cannot get a job without putting in any effort. 

Doctor Visits

Supplemental Security Income applicants will need to see that you are actively seeing a doctor. But for many of the applicants applying to the Supplemental Security Income benefits, they do not have health insurance. 

You will need to see a doctor recently when you are looking to apply for the Supplemental Security Income federal program. Most people who are applying on see a doctor in the year that they have applied for the Supplemental Security Income and they stopped going to the doctor. This cannot be done. You will need to keep visiting the doctor as you are going through this process. 

By having a doctor that is on board with you getting Supplemental Security Income will make the process much easier on you. Especially if this is the doctor you have been seeing for years and years, where they will be able to provide great documentation on what exactly is going on with you. They will be able to give a great break down on your medical conditions along with your limitations, which is vital if you want to be approved for your disability benefits. 

Age

Majority of the people who are applying for Supplemental Security Income are younger. To be honest, according to the government statistics the average age of someone getting Social Security Disability Insurance is 54.5 years of age, while someone who is getting Supplemental Security Income is 44.7 years of age. 

Just like everything else, as you age, many medical conditions tend to get worse with time, so the SSA will identify that older people who are applying may very well be too disabled to work and perform these work-related duties. 

Gender

When it comes to Supplemental Security Income, most of the applicants are women. To be honest, there is about 56% of applicants are woman compared to the Social Security Disability Insurance where only 49% of applicants are women. This is mainly since many women may not even qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance due to fewer years of work. 

However, we are not saying that being a woman will get you approved faster because let’s be serious, it will not. Women are typically approved about 38% of the time, while men are approved around 44% of the time. 

This can be since women ten dot have higher medical claims that are harder for someone to approve rather than the medical claims that men have. 

For example, many people suffer from mood disorders along with depression. This always can be very hard to prove how this is disabling you from performing your work-related activities. While a woman who has documented cardiovascular problems will have a little bit of an easier time getting approved over someone with a mood disorder. 

Will I Need a Lawyer for My Supplemental Security Income Case?

We hate to say this, but the Supplemental Security Income disability case is one of the hardest cases out there. However, it is also one of the most clear-cut cases as well. 

For starters, most of the Supplemental Security Income applications are denied at least once. The Supplemental Security Income case has a higher denial rate than the Social Security Disability Insurance claim. 

But, for most of the Supplemental Security Income cases, you will have to be willing to start an appeal for their initial decision and head off to a hearing. But whether you will need a lawyer will be fully dependent on where you are at during this appeal process. Because if you just started the appeal process and this was your first time applying for Supplement Security Income, you will need a lawyer in most cases. There will be a few cases that having a lawyer will benefit from, but that is few and far between. 

But once you get to the hearing stage, this is when you will want to start thinking about contacting a lawyer to help you through this. Your lawyer will be able to represent you and your case during the hearing. The lawyer main job will be to sift through and organize your medical records along with getting all the evidence they will need to prove without a doubt of your medical conditions that are disabling you and why you absolutely need the Supplemental Security Income. 

Can I Collect Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance at the Same Time?

When you apply for disability when you come on down to your local Social Security office, the rep will be able to determine if you can apply for Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, or even both.

If you file for both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance, this is what is known as a concurrent disability claim. This will only be for people who have Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but who also may be a low-income individual due to not being able to work as well.

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