Adapting to life with a disability is an incredibly challenging journey, one that is filled with physical and emotional ups and downs. For some, it's even accompanied by financial hardship.
Luckily, if you happen to be a resident of Oklahoma, there are many resources and support provided by both the federal and state governments to help you navigate this transition. For the former, there are two different federal programs for disabled individuals: Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
In this guide, we'll show you how to apply for these programs to help disability Oklahoma, and other associate benefits that can help make your life easier.
Social Security Disability Benefits
In Oklahoma, the Social Security Administration (SSA) pays disability benefits through SSDI and SSI.
SSDI provides disability benefits to you and certain disabled family members if you are insured based on federal insurance contributions (FICA) paid into the Social Security Trust Fund. SSI, on the other hand, provides financial support to adults and children who have disabilities and limited income and resources.
The Disability Determination Services office makes medical eligibility determination on applications for both programs based on federal rules and regulations.
Who Is Eligible to Apply?
The simple answer is that anyone with a disability can apply. Your local Social Security office staff will review the non-medical portion of your application, including work history, age, income and resources to determine the benefits for which you qualify.
Your application will then be sent to the Disability Determination Services in Oklahoma for medical eligibility determination. DDS personnel, consisting of a physician or psychologist and a disability examiner, will evaluate your case with medical information obtained from your doctors, hospitals, and other places where you have been treated to determine if you meet the criteria of medically disabled.
The medical requirements are the same under both programs -- the DDS needs to determine if you are unable to perform any type of work and have a medical condition expected to last for at least twelve months or result in death.
You will receive a written notice from the SSA explaining the determination on your application. If your application is approved, the notice will provide the amount of your benefit and the payment schedule.
How to Apply?
There are three different ways to apply for the SSDI benefits and SSI:
- Online: Apply through the SSA website
- Telephone: Apply over the phone by calling the SSA's toll-free customer service line at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
- In-person: Visit any SSA office in your neighbourhood. Find your local office here.
What Information or Documents Do I Need to Provide?
You will need to provide basic information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. Documents you need to provide include:
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States;
- U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968;
- W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
- Medical evidence already in your possession. This includes medical records, doctors' reports, and recent test results; and
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers' compensation-type benefits you received.
You can also initiate an application even with only some of these documents. Check with SSA staff for help on applications.
Just A Step Away, More Benefits Await
If you qualify for SSDI or SSI, that usually means you will be eligible for other government benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). These programs are all designed to provide you the assistance or care you need when you fall into financial hardship
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