Important: We updated this article in January 2024 with current policy and statistical data from the Social Security Administration. When you can’t work because of a medical condition, you might qualify for monthly Ohio disability benefits from two Social Security Administration (SSA) programs:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
You can apply to both at the same time because they use the same medical requirements to qualify. We compiled information on both programs to help Ohio residents from Parma to Portsmouth explore available resources.
We created this guide to help you get to “the heart of it all.”
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Ohio Disability Applicants
SSI disability benefits help Ohioans who haven’t worked recently. In addition, you must be blind, disabled, or over 65 and meet the Social Security Administration’s age, income, and asset limits.
1. What Are the Age Criteria for SSI Disability?
If you’re over 65, then you can apply at any time. Younger Buckeyes must undergo a Disability Determination Services (DDS) physical exam first to prove they’re disabled.
Pro Tip: If you can’t cover the expense of a doctor visit or medical records request, an Ohio disability lawyer can.
2. What Are the Financial Eligibility Rules for SSI Disability?
People with disabilities applying for SSI benefits must meet the following criteria:
- Total assets below $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. The amount includes money in the bank and other things you can sell, such as lottery tickets, stocks, bonds, etc. The asset limits don’t include one vehicle, home you own, your wedding ring, and other daily living items.
- Limited income from wages and/or other sources totaling less than $1,550. Couples must have less than $1,971 in combined monthly income. Blind applicants must have less than $2,590 per month in total income. The SSA counts child support, alimony, earned interest, SNAP, TANF, etc., toward the monthly limited income limits.
3. How Much Does SSI Pay?
If your claim is approved, your benefits can be as much as $914 for an individual or $1,415 for a couple. Your benefit is increased when Congress approves a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
4. How Long Can Ohio Disability Claimants Get SSI Payments?
Ohio disability recipients must pass an update every 3-7 years. For Ohioans over 65, benefits continue as long as they remain financially eligible. Younger recipients can no longer receive SSI benefits if they fail a disability update.
5. Does the Social Security Administration Offer Health Insurance for People on SSI Benefits?
Yes! The same month your SSI payments begin, you automatically qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for Ohio Disability Applicants
SSDI is funded by Social Security payroll deductions during your years of employment. Here’s what you need to know about how the program works.
1. Who’s Eligible for SSDI?
To apply for SSDI benefits, your answers to all these questions must be “yes:”
- Have you seen a doctor during the past 90 days about your disability? If not, you need a Disability Determination Services exam to confirm you’re unable to work. Pro Tip: If you can’t afford it, your Ohio disability lawyer can pay for doctor’s visits and copies of your complete medical records.
- Does your doctor say your medical condition makes you unable to work for at least a year? You aren’t eligible if you can return to work in months or weeks.
- Are you between 18 and 66 years old and not receiving benefits already from Social Security? The program does not cover people at or above full retirement age (i.e., 67 or older).
- Have you worked for at least 5 of the last 10 years in jobs that withheld Social Security taxes? SSDI only covers people with enough work history to earn 40 credits on their own Social Security record. Eligibility lapses if you don’t pay FICA payroll taxes for more than 60 months.
Don’t worry if you answered some questions “no.” You may still qualify for SSI benefits.
2. What Amount Does SSDI Pay?
SSDI payments equal 40% of your average monthly paycheck during the past 35 years. Higher payments are possible if a COLA is authorized by Congress. On average, Ohio disability recipients receive $1,537 a month in 2024; the highest benefit is $3,822 a month. To earn above $3,000, you must have earned at least $148,000 annually for 10 years before becoming disabled.
3. How Long Does It Take to Get Your First SSDI Payment?
The waiting period is usually 5 months. That means you might receive your first payment in 6 months.
But almost half of applicants are denied because of paperwork errors. That’s why you might consider hiring an Ohio disability attorney. Your lawyer knows the process well and that knowledge almost triples your chances of approval. And because counsel works on contingency, you only pay legal fees if you get benefits.
If your claim is denied, you have 60 days to file a reconsideration appeal, which can take up to 3.5 months. If that’s rejected, you can ask for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. This can take a year or longer, however, and only 11% of appeals succeed. Plus, even if you do win, you could wait almost 2 years for your first check.
4. How Long Can I Get SSDI Payments?
Until you turn 67, you have to undergo routine disability reviews every 3-7 years. After that, Social Security disability benefits convert to regular retirement and your monthly amount stays the same.
5. Does SSDI Approval Include Some Kind of Health Insurance?
The Social Security Administration’s policy is to provide Medicare coverage 24 months after SSDI payments begin. This can provide discounted healthcare coverage much sooner than when Medicare access normally begins (after your 65th birthday). You must pay a monthly premium towards Medicare that comes out of your SSDI benefit.
How to Start Your Application Process for Ohio Disability Payments
You can file your disability claim in 4 different ways:
- Apply for benefits online through SSA.gov.
- In person at your local office. Pro Tip: Call first to schedule an appointment and plan to spend at least 4 hours there.
- By phone. The phone numbers you need to apply this way are 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778 for the hearing impaired. You can call anytime Monday through Friday, 8am-7pm EST.
- Through a disability attorney without paying anything out of your own pocket. A lawyer can ensure you submit all the right medical evidence needed to support your request for benefits. Pro Tip: You’re more likely to receive benefits within 6 months if you apply this way vs. waiting 2-3 years, on average.
How to Get Free Expert Ohio Disability Claim Help
Ohio disability applicants from Middletown to Moundsville can hire a qualified Social Security attorney and increase the odds of getting benefits by almost 3x. And remember, disability lawyers don’t charge if your application or appeal hearing isn’t successful. If you do get approved, then you only pay one small fee.
Don’t delay! See if you qualify today. Click the button to launch 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/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.