If you’re missing work because of your health, you’ve already got plenty on your mind. You can decrease your stress and increase your peace of mind and financial security. Two Social Security Administration (SSA) programs pay monthly Utah disability benefits:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The programs use the same approval criteria, so checking your eligibility is quick and simple.
We gathered the basics to help you to access the benefits you deserve.
The SSI disability program assists people with low incomes who are either blind, disabled, or over 65. Let’s check out the details.
- Monthly income under $2,260 if you’re blind and $1,350 if you have another disability. Couples must have less than $2,607, combined. Child support, alimony, earned interest, SNAP, TANF, etc., also count as monthly income.
- Total assets below $2,000 ($3,000 for couples). This amount includes funds in your bank accounts and items you could sell, like stocks and bonds, lottery tickets, etc. The house and vehicle you own, wedding ring and other daily living items don’t apply to the total.
2. What Are the Age Requirements for SSI Disability?
If you’re at least 65 years old, you’re eligible. Younger Utahans need a DDS exam to establish eligibility.
Pro Tip: A Utah disability lawyer can pay for your doctor visits and medical records requests when you can’t.
Benefits can be no more than $841 for individuals and $1,261 for couples. Benefit amounts may go up if Congress approves a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
Utah disability recipients must pass an update once every 3-7 years. If you’re younger than 65 and don’t pass the update, you no longer receive benefits. If you’re over 65, benefits continue as long as you pass the update and meet the financial requirements.
SSDI for Utah Disability Applicants
The SSDI program uses deductions from employee paychecks to pay benefits. Let’s check out the details.
Residents of the Salt Lake State who answer “yes” to all these questions can apply:
- Have you been employed full-time for at least 5 of the last 10 years for employers who withheld Social Security taxes? If not, you’re not eligible if you don’t work for 60 months because you weren’t paying FICA taxes.
- Are you age 18 to 65 and not currently receiving Social Security benefits? Your benefits stop when you reach full retirement age because you’re entitled to regular Social Security benefits.
- Have you seen a healthcare provider in the last 3 months about your condition? If not, you can get a DDS exam to confirm your disability.
- Does your provider expect your condition to keep you out of work for at least a year? If you can return to work sooner, then you cannot qualify for SSDI.
Don’t worry if you have some “no” answers. You could still be eligible for SSI benefits.
2. How Much Money Does SSDI Pay in Monthly Benefits?
The SSA sets your Utah disability payment by estimating your average monthly pay over 35 years of work and using 40% of that amount to determine the monthly benefit amount.
The average monthly SSDI payment for 2022 is $1,358; the highest is $3,345. To get above $3,000 a month, you must have earned $139,000 annually for 10 years before becoming disabled. Your benefit could increase during years where Congress passes a COLA.
3. How Long Does It Take to Get Your First SSDI Payment?
The approval process takes about 5 months. It can take another 30 days to get your first check.
Unfortunately, about 50% of applications are denied because of paperwork errors. You can appeal the rejection, but only 11% of appeals are successful.
You have two chances to appeal a denial:
- File a reconsideration. You have two months after your denial to request an appeal. It can take up to 3.5 months to complete the process.
- Request a hearing. If your reconsideration is rejected, you can request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. It can take up to a year to complete this process.
All this means that even if you do get approved, you may have to wait up to 2 years for your first payment.
Pro Tip: Triple your chances of being approved by hiring a Utah disability attorney. You only have to pay legal fees if you win you’re approved.
4. How Long Can I Receive SSDI Payments?
Pro Tip: Engage a Utah disability lawyer to make you almost 3x more likely to get benefits.
Qualified Social Security attorneys can help you get the benefits you’re eligible for. You pay a small one-time fee if you win, and nothing if you don’t.
See if you’re eligible 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.