Disability benefits provide financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a chronic condition or disabling injury. If you’re a resident of Georgia, you may be eligible for both state and federal disability benefits. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the different types of disability benefits available in Georgia, how they work, and how to apply for them.
Georgia Disability Benefits
There are several types of disability benefits available to Georgia residents:
Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance
The Georgia Department of Public Health offers short-term and long-term disability insurance plans. These work together with other benefits you may be eligible to receive.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
This federal program provides assistance to people who have worked in a job that paid into Social Security taxes for a certain length of time and have a medical condition that meets the Social Security’s definition of disability.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This is another federal program that aids people with disabilities who have little to no income.
State Supplemental Benefits
The Georgia Department of Human Resources provides state supplemental benefits to SSI claimants. The claimant does not have to apply for these social security benefits separately; they are automatically considered when applying for SSI.
Benefits of Each Disability Program
Each disability program provides a unique set of benefits designed to support individuals in different circumstances.
- Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance: The primary benefit of these insurance plans is that they provide a portion of your income if you’re unable to work due to a non-work-related illness or injury. Short-term disability insurance typically covers 60-70% of your base salary for a period of up to six months1. On the other hand, long-term disability insurance kicks in after the short-term benefits end, providing 50-60% of your base salary for an extended period, often until retirement age.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI benefits are based on your past earnings and can vary widely. In addition to monthly financial assistance, after two years of receiving SSDI benefits, you become eligible for Medicare, regardless of your age. SSDI also offers benefits to certain family members, including spouses and children.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI provides a fixed monthly income to people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. The amount is determined by federal and state guidelines and is meant to cover basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter. Additionally, most SSI recipients are automatically eligible for Medicaid.
- State Supplemental Benefits: These benefits supplement the federal SSI payment. The amount varies depending on an individual’s living arrangement and other factors. The purpose is to further assist those with limited income and resources.
These benefits collectively aim to ensure that individuals with disabilities can maintain a decent standard of living. If you’re considering applying, it’s important to understand the specific benefits each program offers to determine which best suits your needs.
Applying for Disability Benefits in Georgia
Applying for disability benefits in Georgia can be done through various channels. For SSDI and SSI, applications can be submitted through the Georgia SSA field office, over the SSA toll-free phone line, or online through the SSA office’s website.
For Georgia’s short-term and long-term disability insurance plans, inquiries can be made by calling The Standard at 1-888-641-7186.
What you will need to apply for disability benefits in georgia
To apply for disability benefits in Georgia, you will need to meet several criteria and provide various documents. Here are the primary requirements:
- Work Credits: You generally need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
- Age: For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you should typically be under 67 years old.
- Severity of Disability: Your disability must be considered severe enough to impact your ability to work for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.
- Ability to Work: To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA.
- Medical Condition: The condition causing the disability should be one that prevents you from working.
Once you have met these requirements, you will have to gather necessary documentation to prove your eligibility. This includes medical records, work history, and personal identification.
Disability benefits are crucial for those who cannot work due to a disability. They provide financial stability and ensure that individuals can afford their basic needs. If you’re a Georgia resident dealing with a disability, it’s important to understand your options and apply for the benefits that you’re eligible to receive.
Remember, each program has its own set of requirements and application process. Therefore, make sure you fully understand these before applying. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the relevant departments or seek professional advice.