There are special programs provided by the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income administration to assist people with disabilities in Nevada.
This article will provide you with an overview of information about disability benefits that are available in the state.
We provide details regarding disability to help you better understand what to expect in terms of coverage from Social Security as well as the process you’ll need to go through to qualify for these benefits.
Take some time to review the information below to get a feel for what to expect during the application process for disability benefits in Nevada.
What conditions qualify for disability in Nevada?
To qualify for disability in Nevada, you’ll need to meet a number of requirements that are set forth by the Social Security Administration. The most important requirement you need to meet pertains to your disability or medical condition.
To evaluate your disability, the Social Security Administration will follow a set of rules or guidelines and go through a multiple-phase process. Once this process is complete, the administration will determine if your medical condition does, in fact, prevent you from working.
The Social Security Administration provides a list of disabilities that may qualify you for disability benefits in Nevada. Below are the categories of impairments for adults that commonly qualify individuals for disability benefits in this state:
● Digestive System Impairments
● Musculoskeletal System Impairments
● Respiratory System Impairments
● Special Senses and Speech Impairments
● Cardiovascular System Impairments
● Hematological Disorders
● Genitourinary Impairments
● Skin Disorders
● Disorders of the Endocrine System
● Mental Impairments and Disorders
● Congenital Disorders that Affect More Than One Body System
● Neurological Disorders
● Malignant Neoplastic Disease
● Immune System Impairments
Most of the conditions that qualify individuals for disability benefits are considered long-lasting, permanent, and/or terminal. For medical conditions that are temporary, disability applicants must include information about the expected duration, which must be at least 12 months. In other words, the impairment or disorder must have already lasted for 12 months or be expected to last for another 12 months in order to qualify as a “disability”.
Below is a list of some of the most common medical conditions for which applicants seek disability benefits in Nevada:
● Back Injury / Back Pain
● Breathing Impairment
● Brain Injury
● Bipolar Disorder
● Blood-related Disease
● Cerebral Palsy
● Multiple Sclerosis
● Heart Diseases and Disorders
● Muscular Dystrophy
How to Qualify for Disability in Nevada
If you or a loved one has a disability and you believe that the impairment would qualify for benefits under the rules set forth by the Social Security Administration, the next step is to understand the process of qualification.
Before you apply for disability, take some time to review the steps we discuss below and to gather the documents that you’ll need to finish your application.
To be insured under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, you and certain of your family members must fulfill the requirements below:
● You must have worked for a certain length of time.
● You must have worked recently enough to qualify for benefits.
● You must have paid Social Security taxes on your earnings.
● Your income must not go above a certain level.
● Your capital resources must be limited.
The Supplemental Security Income program covers disabled individuals, including both adults and children, who have limited resources and income.
How to Sign up for Disability in Nevada
To apply for Social Security disability benefits, you will need to follow the steps listed below as part of your application process:
- Apply online, by phone, or in person.
- Gather all of the documents and information that you need for your application. Use this Checklist to determine which documents you need.
- Complete and submit the application.
- Your application will be reviewed to make sure that you meet the necessary requirements. If there are questions about your application, someone will contact you. You may be asked to submit additional documents before your application will be fully processed.
- The application will then be processed and forwarded to a Disability Determination Services office in Nevada where the ultimate determination decision is made.
How long is the wait to get approved for disability?
Disability applicants are often curious about how long it will take to get approved for benefits. In Nevada, most Social Security disability cases require that the applicant appear before an administrative law judge prior to being awarded disability benefits. The average amount of time that applicants wait in Nevada for a disability hearing is 443 days.
After your application is submitted, there is an automatic five-month waiting period. This waiting period ensures that only people who truly have long-term disabilities are awarded benefits. Once this five month waiting period ends, the wait time is typically a function of the number of applications the administration has received as well as the efficiency of local offices involved in the review process.
You may be eligible for backpay in certain situations. The initial application date and the onset date of your disability are used to determine whether backpay will be awarded to you or not. For example, if you had previously applied for disability benefits, you may get backpay that will go back to the original date of that application. In most situations, past-due benefits are available after the disability process is complete.
How much is a monthly disability check?
The amount that you’ll receive monthly in disability benefits will depend on the average of your lifetime earnings prior to when your disability began. Typically, this amount ranges between $800-1800 per month. In 2020, for example, the average disability recipient earned $1258 per month, but it can be much higher. The administration uses a weighted formula to determine how much each disability recipient receives. This formula may award up to $3011 if the formula determines that this is the correct amount.
The amount that you receive as Social Security disability benefits in Nevada may be reduced if you’ve gotten disability payments from other sources such as worker’s compensation claims or state disability programs. Often, but not always, disability recipients don’t receive more than 80% of the sum they earned prior to becoming disabled.
The Average Indexed Monthly Earnings is the average of the earnings that are covered by disability and these are what are used to determine the base payment of Primary Insurance Amount . The Social Security Administration then assigns fixed percentages of income that are adjusted annually. These percentages are known as “bend points”.
What benefits are available for disabled Nevada residents?
Disabled Nevada residents have a number of benefits and services that they can access to ensure that beneficiaries, caregivers, and their family members receive the support they need to live their lives comfortably. Below are some of the most important resources that are currently available for disabled Nevada residents:
- The Consumer Directed Personal Care Services (PCS) program assists disabled individuals who are in need of at-home care in Nevada. This program works in tandem with Medicaid to provide innovative friend and family-oriented caregiver options to disabled individuals. Under this program, friends or family members can act as paid Personal Care Aides and receive their compensation for their work through Medicaid.
Through the PCS program, disabled individuals can receive paid personal care from trusted caregivers that they hire and manage themselves. Through the PCS program disabled individuals can enjoy a higher quality of care provided by trusted caregivers that they (or a representative) pick out for themselves.
- The Nevada Department of Health, Aging, and Disability Services is another valuable organization that offers local resources that promote a wider array of life-choices and equal opportunity employment for disabled individuals and their family members.
- The Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services assists individuals who are struggling due to unemployment or low income. They are an important resource for disabled individuals in Nevada who are in need of financial aid and cash assistance.This organization provides help with energy bill payments for qualifying individuals. They also offer temporary short-term financial aid in the form of cash assistance or grants for basic needs such as housing or rent. Nutritional needs may be covered via SNAP food stamps.
For more information, contact the Welfare Supportive Services department at 800-992-0900.
- Assistive Technology, Training, and Assessments is a Nevada benefit that is available in certain regions. Knowing what technologies and assistive devices are available can be life-changing for disabled individuals. This program is administered by the Easter Seals along with the University of Nevada.
Residents of southern Nevada should call (702)-870-7050 to learn more. Residents of northern Nevada should call (775)-784-4921 for more information.
- The Assistive Technology for Independent Living Program helps disabled individuals remain living in their own communities and in their own homes by improving the accessibility and usability of their homes and vehicles. Clients who make use of this program may have to invest a share in the cost or help pay for some of their own services according to a sliding fee scale. This program is administered to state residents by RAGE, Inc. (phone: 702-333-1038) along with the CARE Chest in northern Nevada (775-829-2273).
- The Care Program offers low-interest loans for assistive technologies designed for disabled individuals. These loans can be used to purchase assistive tools for home and/or vehicle modifications. The goal of the program is to remove people off benefit programs by helping them care for themselves. Contact the CARE Chest at 775-829-2273 for more information.
- Advocacy is available to anyone with communication disabilities, no matter what their income level. The state of Nevada provides advocacy in navigating Welfare, Vocational Rehabilitation, education, and Social Security programs. These services can be accessed in Southern Nevada by calling 702-363-3323 or by calling 775-353-3599 in Northern Nevada. Advocates may be able to find assistance in the medical or legal fields, gain benefits, or access interpreters in certain regions of the state.
- In Nevada, the Equipment Distribution Program offers specialized telecommunications equipment (such as TTYs) to those with speech or hearing difficulties. The equipment is offered at no cost to qualifying individuals through this Nevada non-profit. Contact the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Resource Center for more information at 775-355-8994.
- The Recycled Equipment Program may be able to help you out if you need medical equipment but can’t afford to pay for it yourself. This program provides free medical equipment for those who lack the necessary resources. Contact the CARE Chest organization at 775-829-2273 or the Easter Seals at 702-870-7050 for more information.
- Nevada Disability RX provides prescription medication assistance to disabled individuals. Only low-income families qualify for this government program in Nevada.
- The Autism Treatment Assistance Program is another important resource for qualified families who are caring for autistic children between the ages of 0 and 18 years of age. This organization provides aid to families to help them create home-based therapy programs. For more information, call 775-687-4210.
Getting Denied for Disability in Nevada
It is extremely common for disability claims to be denied in the state of Nevada. In fact, most disability claims are denied on their initial review. If that happens to you, you can ask for a Reconsideration Review. If your claim is again denied, you can then request an appeal hearing with an administrative law judge.
Disability claims may be denied for a number of different reasons. Social Security Administration workers use something referred to as the “Blue Book” to determine whether or not you would technically be classified as disabled. The most common reasons why disability claims are denied is because there’s a lack of hard evidence that a disability exists. If the Disability Determination Services department can’t gain access to your medical records, or if your medical records do not accurately portray the severity of your condition, this can result in a denial of disability status.
If your medical records don’t clearly demonstrate the restrictions and limitations that you experience as a result of your condition, denial of disability status is likely. Or, if you’ve been given a diagnosis, but you fail to access follow-up care, then the Disability Determination Services department won’t be able to determine whether or not your condition has improved or worsened over the course of time. And if you continue working and your income exceeds the allowable threshold, your claim may also be denied. If you are denied disability benefits, you can make an appeal to prove your case.