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How Disability Lawyers in Ohio Assist Claimants

Posted on May 11, 2015

Unlike some other states, the State of Ohio does not offer short-term disability benefits to individuals, as disability lawyers Cleveland Ohio can explain. However, residents of Ohio can still apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Available Programs

Two programs provide monetary benefits to disabled individuals in Ohio. The first is called the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Disability lawyers Cleveland Ohio will explain that this program is based on the claimant’s work history and the number of work credits that the claimant has accumulated.

The second program is called the Supplemental Security Income. This program is available to claimants who have no work history or a limited work history that would not make them eligible for the first program. Additionally, these individuals must have limited assets and income in order to qualify.

Supplement Payment

The federal government provides the majority of the funding for both programs. However, disability lawyers in Ohio will explain that the state of Ohio adds an additional payment onto these benefits for some recipients of Supplemental Security Income.

Decision-Making Authority

Disability lawyers in Ohio will explain that a state agency determines whether a claimant is eligible for disability benefits. The state agency in Ohio is called the Ohio Division of Disability Determination. This agency works with the Social Security Administration although it is independent.

In order to determine eligibility, the state agency collects and reviews the claimant’s medical information. If enough information is not provided in these documents, representatives from the state agency may schedule Social Security Administration doctors to examine the claimant and prepare medical reports.

Amount of Payments

For recipients of SSDI payments, the amount of the monthly benefit depends on the amount of relevant earnings. The amount for SSI payments is based on the federal government’s standard, whether the claimant has any other income and his or her living situation. The final factor is used to determine whether the claimant is eligible for Ohio’s supplemental payment.

Medicaid

In addition to monetary benefits, individuals who receive disability benefits can also receive Medicaid, a health insurance policy. In order to qualify for Medicaid, claimants must meet the following criteria:

  • The claimant is a United States citizen or qualified alien
  • The claimant is a resident of the state of Ohio
  • The claimant has or is eligible for a Social Security number
  • The claimant has less income and financial resources than the state limit

In some situations, the claimant may have too much income to qualify for Medicaid but nevertheless be eligible for the program by using the “spend down” program. This allows the claimant to deduct specific medical costs from his or her reported income.

Application Process

The Social Security Administration offers claimants a variety of ways to apply for disability benefits. The availability of the options depends on whether the claimant is applying for SSDI or SSI.

Online

Claimants who are applying for SSDI can apply online at the Social Security Administration’s website. The claimant must provide basic information about himself or herself, including:

  • The claimant’s Social Security number
  • The claimant’s legal name
  • The claimant’s address and phone number
  • Information pertaining to the claimant’s marriages
  • The claimant’s work history
  • Contact information for the claimant’s doctors

On the Phone

SSDI and SSI applicants can opt to apply on the phone. Claimants call the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number to set up an appointment for a representative to call them back.

In-Person

Another option for SSDI and SSI claimants is to apply in person at their local field office. Field office locations are included on the Social Security Administration’s website and based on zip code. Before going to the field office, the claimant should call ahead of time to determine whether he or she needs an appointment.

Legal Assistance

The process of applying for and being approved for benefits can be challenging. Many claimants are originally denied benefits. They often hire disability lawyers in Ohio to handle an appeal where they are eventually successful. Statistics show that individuals who are represented by a lawyer have a much higher chance of winning their case in comparison to individuals who do not have legal representation.

If you would like more information on receiving disability benefits in Ohio, contact the John Paul Oreh Law Office. Call us at (216) 896-0935 to schedule a confidential evaluation of your case.

Social Security Disability Library