If you live in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and are unable to work because of a physical or mental condition, you should not despair. You can apply for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These programs are federally operated. However, certain aspects, such as determining the SSI amount and Medicaid eligibility, fall under state jurisdiction.

Who Determines Disability Eligibility?

Oklahoma’s Disability Determination Division (DDD) is responsible for assessing your disability. The DDD will determine whether you meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability requirements. The DDD will collect your medical information and may schedule appointments for medical examinations. Doctors affiliated with Social Security conduct medical examinations.

The Qualification Requirements for SSDI Benefits

To qualify for SSDI benefits in Muskogee, you need to meet the general eligibility criteria set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are the key requirements:

  • You must have earned enough work credits by paying Social Security taxes through your employment. The number of credits required depends on your age at the time of disability onset. You must have accumulated a sufficient number of credits by the time you apply for the benefits.
  • You must have a severe physical or mental impairment that is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. The impairment should prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. It must be evident that you are unable to work or earn any amount of income through work.
  • There is a five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits. Your disability must last, or be expected to last, for a minimum of five consecutive months before you can start receiving benefits.

Qualification Requirements for SSI Benefits

To qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in Oklahoma, you must meet certain eligibility criteria established by the SSA. Here are the notable requirements:

  • You must be either age 65 or older, blind, or have a disability. The SSA defines disability in the same way as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. You should have a severe physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The disability must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
  • SSI is a needs-based program, and your income must fall within the income limits set by the SSA. This includes not only earned income but also unearned income. Unearned income includes pensions, Social Security benefits, and assistance from friends or family. The SSA takes into account various factors when determining your countable income.
  • In addition to income, you must have limited resources or assets. The SSA considers resources like cash, bank accounts, stocks, and property. However, certain resources, like your primary residence and one vehicle, are excluded from the calculation.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or fall into one of the qualified alien categories. Alien categories include lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylees, among others.
  • You must reside in the United States and meet the residency requirements.

Finding a Disability Attorney in Muskogee OK

If you have inquiries regarding the disability process, you should consult with an attorney. An attorney can help file an appeal in case of benefit denials from the Disability Determination Division. At the Social Security Law Center, we have experienced attorneys ready to help you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.