You have to pay your bills even if you can’t work because of your health. So it’s important to know if you qualify for New Mexico disability benefits from the federal government.
Two programs pay monthly benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA):
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Figuring this out is easy because these programs use the same criteria for qualification. Use this guide to help you get the support you’re entitled to.
SSDI for New Mexico Disability Applicants
Here’s what people in the Land of Enchantment need to know about the SSDI program.
1. Who’s Eligible for SSDI?
If you answer “yes” to all these questions, you can apply for SSDI benefits:
- Have I worked full-time for at least 5 of the last 10 years in jobs that withheld Social Security taxes? Eligibility lapses if you stop working for 60 months because you didn’t pay FICA taxes during that time.
- Am I between 18 and 65 and not currently receiving Social Security benefits? The program stops paying at full retirement age because that’s when you start getting regular Social Security benefits.
- Have I seen a doctor in the past 90 days about my disability? If not, you can get a Disability Determination Services (DDS) exam to confirm your condition. Did you know a New Mexico disability lawyer can cover doctor appointments and medical records if you can’t pay for them?
- Does my doctor expect my disability to keep me out of work for at least 12 months? If you can return to work sooner you aren’t eligible.
If you have some “no” answers, you may still qualify for the SSI program (see below).
2. How Much Does SSDI Pay?
Here’s how New Mexico disability payments are calculated:
- The SSA determines your average monthly paycheck over 35 years of work.
- They set your payment at 40% of that amount.
The average recipient receives $1,358 in monthly SSDI for 2022. You can earn above $3,000 a month if you made $139,000 annually for 10 years before becoming disabled. The most you can earn is $3,345 a month. Payments may be higher in years when Congress approves a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
3. How Long Does It Take to Get Your First SSDI Payment?
Most applicants wait 5 months, but about half of the applications are rejected because of paperwork errors.
If that happens to you, you have 60 days to request a reconsideration, which can take up to 3.5 months. If your request is turned down, you can go before an Administrative Law Judge to appeal your case. That process can take up to 12 months, and only 11% of appeals are successful. Even if you do win, you might have to wait almost 2 years for the first payment.
That’s why it’s important to get your application approved the first time.
Did you know that hiring a New Mexico disability attorney can make you three times more likely to get approved? Plus, you only pay this kind of lawyer if you win your case.
4. How Long Can I Receive SSDI Payments?
You can receive benefits until you’re 65, as long as you pass updates every 3-7 years. After that, you switch to regular Social Security retirement benefits at the same monthly payment amount.
SSI for New Mexico Disability Applicants
SSI disability benefits are for people who are blind, disabled or at least 65 who meet eligibility requirements. Here’s what New Mexicans need to know.
1. What Are the Financial Eligibility Rules for SSI Disability?
- Possess total assets less than $2,000 ($3,000 for couples), including money in the bank and items you could sell, like stocks and bonds, lottery tickets, etc. Your vehicle, wedding ring, the home you own and other daily living items don’t apply.
- Have monthly income from wages and/or other sources under $2,260 if you are blind and $1,350 if you have another disability. Couples must have less than $2,607 in combined monthly income. Child support, alimony, earned interest, SNAP, TANF, etc., all count as monthly income.
2. What Are the Age Requirements for SSI Disability?
You’re eligible if you’re 65 or older. People under 65 can qualify if they pass a DDS exam to establish eligibility. Did you know a New Mexico disability lawyer can pay for doctor visits and medical records if you can’t?
3. How Much Does SSI Pay?
Approved individuals can get as much as $841; couples can get up to $1,261. These amounts may go up when Congress approves a COLA.
4. How Long Can I Get SSI Payments?
New Mexico disability recipients must pass a disability update every 3-7 years. If you’re over 65, benefits continue as long as you meet the financial requirements. If you’re under 65 and don’t pass the update, then you no longer receive benefits.
New Mexico Disability Seekers May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Did you know hiring a New Mexico disability lawyer makes you almost 3x more likely to receive benefits?
Remember, qualified Social Security attorneys don’t charge you unless you receive benefits. If your application is successful, you only pay a small one-time fee.
Don’t wait! Check your eligibility now! Click below to start your free online benefits evaluation.
Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.