Over 1.3 million residents in this state are aged 50-64. That’s the prime age to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In fact, that’s nearly 1 in 5 Hoosiers! However, just 3% of residents received Indiana disability benefits in 2018. Another 1.8% receive monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 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:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
To make the process faster, Indiana disability applicants can apply for both programs on the same form. 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 through every paycheck. 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 full-time jobs for 5 in the last 10 years? 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 your 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.
- Did you get a doctor to treat your disabling condition within the last year? If not, you’ll need to attend a Disability Determination Services (DDS) 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 full retirement age (FRA)? SSDI is an insurance program that working Americans pay the premiums for through paycheck deductions. On your 65th birthday, any Indiana disability payments you get through SSDI convert into regular Social Security. Read this to learn why nobody can draw retirement and Indiana disability at the same time.
If you answered “no” to any question, skip ahead to the SSI Indiana disability benefits 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 to receive their first Indiana disability check. Having a lawyer file your claim doubles your chances for approval the first time you apply. Plus, an attorney cannot charge you anything for help until after the SSA approves your Indiana disability claim. Right now, SSDI applications for Indiana disability benefits take 493 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.
If yours results in denial, you can appeal again and 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 Valparaiso, you’ll wait about 11 months after you appeal to plead our case in court. But if you’re in Indianapolis, 17.5 months is the average hearing wait time for appeals cases. So if you win benefits on appeal, you may wait 2-3 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 $3,011/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 $1,258/month in SSDI benefits. The only way to get a raise is with an annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase.
4. Does the SSDI Program Pay Indiana Disability Claimants 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 an Indiana disability update letter, you’ll have to prove you’re still too disabled to work. You’ll get these letters regularly until you reach your full retirement age (FRA). 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’re no longer disabled, they’ll stop your SSDI payments 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 blind, disabled and senior Americans aged 65 and older. 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 convincing 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 income must be less than $1,260. This includes money you earn as well as other sources. 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 household 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 and $1,260 in combined monthly income to qualify.
3. $783/Person, $1,175/Couple Is the Most SSI Will Pay Any Approved Claimant
While that doesn’t sound like much, every penny counts when you cannot work. Luckily, the SSI program gets a Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) increase some years. You’ll still have to prove you’re too disabled to 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 requirements.
Do Temporary or Short-Term Indiana Disability Benefits Exist?
Unfortunately, no government programs pay for short-term or temporary Indiana disability benefits. 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 preexisting conditions that disabled you prior to the policy’s purchase date.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
You’re twice as likely to get Indiana disability benefits if a lawyer helps you apply. A qualified Social Security attorney won’t charge you for legal advice. In fact, no Indiana disability lawyer gets paid until after you’re approved for benefits. All Indiana disability lawyers work on contingency. That means they won’t accept your case unless they think you’ll win. And if your case does win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. It’s federal law!
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!