Everything You Need to Know About Indiana Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits

Important: We updated this article in June 2023 to make sure all info below is both current and correct. Almost 1.3 million residents in this state are aged 50-64 (nearly 1 in 5 Hoosiers!). That’s the best time to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. However, just 3% of residents received Indiana disability benefits in December 2022. Another 2% receive monthly Supplemental Security Income payments. If a mental or physical condition puts you out of work for at least one year, apply for Indiana disability.

Two Different Programs Provide Indiana Disability Benefits

You may qualify for monthly cash benefits from one of two different federal disability programs. Both ask the same medical screening questions when you apply, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) manages both programs. However, that’s where the similarities end.

You can file a claim for Indiana disability benefits through these two programs:

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

To make the process faster, Indiana disability applicants can apply for both programs at once. Just check one box to ensure you apply for both SSI and SSDI benefits!

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): How to Apply, Qualify & Payment Information

The first program, SSDI, is an insurance program you pay for with your job’s payroll taxes. Anyone who’s worked at least 5 in the last 10 years full-time and paid Social Security taxes can apply. Keep reading to see if you may qualify for the SSDI program’s Indiana disability benefits.

1. Who’s Eligible to File A SSDI Claim for Indiana Disability Benefits?

If you answer “yes” to these four questions, file your SSDI Indiana disability benefits claim:

  • Have you paid FICA taxes while working for 5 in the last 10 years full time? This is required in order for you to qualify for the SSDI program’s monthly Indiana disability benefits. That’s because SSDI is a federal disability insurance program. This also means coverage lapses automatically once you stop working for 60 months. If you haven’t worked recently or enough years to qualify, then the SSA won’t approve your claim.
  • Do you need to take at least 12 months off work specifically due to health problems? Your health issue must last for at least a year or result in your death to meet SSDI program eligibility rules. SSDI won’t pay you Indiana disability benefits if you improve enough to work again within a year.
  • Are you currently under a doctor’s care? If not, you’ll need to attend a consultative exam. This is to confirm your condition stops you from working for at least 12 months. If you haven’t been to the doctor lately, talk to a lawyer before filing your Indiana disability claim for SSDI!
  • Are you currently at least 18, but younger than 67 and not drawing any Social Security? SSDI is an insurance program that working Americans pay the premiums for through paycheck deductions. On your 67th birthday, any Indiana disability payments you get through SSDI convert into Social Security retirement. Per federal law, nobody can draw retirement and Indiana disability at the same time.

If you answered “no” to any question, skip ahead to the SSI section now.

2. If Approved, When Will I Get My First SSDI Payment?

Six months from your SSDI application date is the soonest anyone can get their first payment. The SSA typically takes 3-5 months to review every SSDI application. There’s also a five-month mandatory waiting period for every approved claim. These two issues make it impossible to get Indiana disability benefits sooner than six months after you apply.

Unfortunately, most people wait closer to two years. Having a disability lawyer file your claim triples your chances for success. Plus, an attorney cannot charge you anything for help until after disability approval. Right now, SSDI applications for Indiana disability benefits take 408 days to process from start to finish.

If you decide to apply on your own without a lawyer, you’ll almost certainly get denied benefits. That’s because the SSA currently rejects 4 in every 5 first-time applications. If that happens, you have 60 days to file an appeal in writing. Reconsideration is the first step in the appeals process, and it takes about 100 days (on average). Only 2% of people receive Indiana disability benefits during reconsideration.

Denied a second time? Then you can appeal again to plead your case before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). However, you’ll have to wait a pretty long time for your appeals court date. In Indianapolis, you’ll wait about 9 months after you appeal to plead your case. But in Valparaiso, 13 months is the average wait for appeals hearings. So if you win benefits on appeal, you may wait 2+ years after applying for your first Indiana disability payment!

3. How Much Money Can I Get From SSDI?

The maximum Indiana disability payment the SSDI program can pay anyone is $3,627 each month. To qualify for that amount, you’ll need to earn a six-figure salary for several years first. Nationwide, disabled workers currently receive an average $1,483 per month in SSDI benefits. The only way to get more is with an annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase.

4. Does the SSDI Program Pay Indiana Disability Benefits for Life?

Indiana disability benefits that come from the federal SSDI program are not permanent. If the SSA approves your claim, they’ll check back with you ever 3, 5, or 7 years. Every time you receive a disability update letter, you’ll have to prove you still cannot work. You’ll get these letters regularly until you turn 67. When that day comes, the SSA automatically converts Indiana disability into regular Social Security checks. The amount you get each month won’t change, and you don’t need to file any paperwork. If the SSA decides at any time that you can work again, then they’ll stop your benefits immediately.

Bonus Tip: Purchase complete medical records from your doctor before you apply for Indiana disability benefits. You need these to prove you’re eligible for benefits under the SSDI program’s guidelines!

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): How to Apply, Qualify & Payment Information

Some people can only qualify for Indiana disability benefits through the federal SSI program. SSI is designed to provide financial assistance to the poorest Americans who need disability assistance. To qualify for the SSI program’s Indiana disability payments, you need very little income and almost no assets. Below, we’ll explain the eligibility requirements for SSI, payment amounts and more.

1. Both SSI and SSDI Programs Use the Same Medical Screening Criteria

If you’re younger than 65, then you must be blind or disabled to qualify for SSI. You’ll need to submit recent medical evidence to support your claim. But if you’re already at least 65 years old, your age alone helps you qualify. You don’t have to submit any medical records along with your SSI benefits application.

2. You Need Very Little Income and Almost No Assets to Qualify for SSI

The SSI program screens every Indiana disability applicant for income and assets. First, your monthly household income (whether married or single) must be less than $1,470. This includes money you earn as well as unearned income. They count things like alimony, child support payments, inheritance, lottery winnings, etc. You must also have less than $2,000 in the bank when you apply. But the SSA also looks for jewelry, stocks, bonds, cars, or anything you can sell for cash. These are what the agency calls “countable assets.” Some things the SSA won’t count towards that asset limit include:

  • Your house and the land it sits on (if you own it)
  • One vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, boat)
  • Wedding ring, furniture, clothing & other essential items (appliances, bedding, towels)

You won’t get SSI if you own too much stuff or have over $2,000 in the bank. For married couples, you need less than $3,000 in assets to qualify.

3. $914 per Person or $1,371 per Couple Is the Most SSI Will Pay Each Month

While that doesn’t sound like much, every penny counts when you cannot work. Luckily, the SSI program gets a COLA increase some years. You’ll still have to prove you cannot work every few years to keep your SSI benefits. But once you turn 65, those check-ins stop automatically. You’ll keep getting checks based on age alone if you still meet SSI financial limits.

Do Temporary or Short-Term Indiana Disability Benefits Exist?

Unfortunately, no government programs pay short-term or temporary disability in Indiana. Many employers include such plans in their new-hire benefits package, or you can purchase a private insurance policy on your own. However, many insurance companies won’t cover any medical conditions you had prior to the policy’s purchase date.

A local Social Security attorney won’t charge you for claim help up front. Filing through an Indiana lawyer makes you nearly 3x more likely to get approved for benefits right away. All SSD lawyers work on contingency. That means they won’t accept your case unless they think you’ll win. And if your case does win, then you’ll only pay one small fee. People who qualify for claim help through this website usually get $13,800 in back pay and benefits.

Want free expert claim help at home? Click the button below now to start your free online benefits and see if you may qualify:

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.