When you’re out of work because of your health, you’ve got enough to worry about. Federal disability payments can help ease the stress. Two U.S. government programs offer monthly South Carolina disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA):
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Checking your eligibility is fast and easy because both programs use the same medical criteria.
We pulled together information to assist Palmetto Staters like you receive the support you’ve earned.
The SSI disability program supports Americans with low incomes who are blind, disabled or over 65 and meet eligibility requirements. Here are the basics.
- Earn monthly income from wages and/or other sources below $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., also count toward the total.
- Own total assets under $2,000 ($3,000 for couples), including cash in bank accounts and items you could sell, like stocks and bonds, lottery tickets, etc. Your wedding ring, the home and vehicle you own and other daily living items aren’t counted toward the total.
2. What Are the Age Requirements for SSI Disability?
Sandlappers 65 and older are eligible. Younger residents need a DDS exam to establish eligibility.
Pro Tip: A South Carolina disability lawyer can pay for doctor visits and medical records if you can’t.
Approved applicants can receive up to $841 every month; couples can get no more than $1,261. Your benefit may go up if Congress approves a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
South Carolina disability recipients must pass an 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.
SSDI for South Carolina Disability Applicants
The SSDI program uses deductions from employee paychecks to deliver benefits. Here are the basics.
South Carolina disability seekers who answer “yes” to all these questions can apply:
- Are you age 18 to 65 and not currently receiving Social Security benefits? The program stops paying at full retirement age because you start receiving regular Social Security benefits.
- Have you worked full-time for at least 5 of the last 10 years for employers who withheld Social Security taxes? Your eligibility ends if you don’t work for 60 months because you weren’t paying FICA taxes.
- Have you seen a doctor in the past 90 days about your condition? If not, then you can get a DDS exam to confirm your disability.
- Does your doctor expect your condition to keep you off the job for at least 12 months? If you can return to work sooner, you aren’t eligible.
Pro Tip: A South Carolina disability lawyer can cover doctor’s visits and medical records if you can’t pay for them.
Remember, if you have some “no” answers, you may still qualify for SSI benefits!
2. What Does SSDI Pay in Monthly Benefits?
The SSA calculates South Carolina disability payments by determining your average monthly paycheck over 35 years of work and using 40% of that amount to set your monthly benefit.
The average monthly SSDI payment for 2022 is $1,358; the most is $3,345. For benefits above $3,000 a month, you must have made $139,000 annually for 10 years before becoming disabled. You may also get more if Congress passes a COLA.
3. How Long Does It Take to Get Your First SSDI Payment?
The approval process takes about 5 months plus another month for the first check to be cut. Most recipients get their first benefits in about 6 months.
Unfortunately, though, about half the people who apply are denied because of paperwork errors. You can appeal the rejection, but only 11% of appeals are successful.
There are two chances to appeal a denial:
- File a reconsideration. You have 60 days to ask for an initial appeal. You may have to wait 3.5 months for the process to complete.
- Request a hearing. If you’re turned down again, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. This process can take up to a year to complete.
Unfortunately, even if you do get approved, you may have waited 2 years for that first benefit check.
Pro Tip: Hiring a South Carolina disability attorney can make you three times more likely to get approved. Bonus: You only have to pay legal fees once you win your case.
4. How Long Can I Receive SSDI Payments?
Pro Tip: Be almost 3x more likely to receive benefits by hiring a South Carolina disability attorney.
Working with a qualified Social Security lawyer is often a good idea. They won’t charge you if you don’t receive benefits. And if you do win, then they only charge a small one-time fee.
Don’t delay. Discover if you’re eligible right 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/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.