What is State Disability?
A person who has lost employment due to medical reasons or physical conditions for a period of more than one year is classified as “disabled” under state disability laws governing Social Security Disablement. Each state has its own set of disability benefits and requirements.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services
This disability service is programmed for individuals with disabilities relating to mental and physical impairment resulting in the loss of employment. The nature of services includes:
- Placement services
- Vocational Counseling
- Supported employment
- Skills training
- Job accommodations
- Emotional restoration services
- College training
- Physical restoration
- Mobility equipment
The VR Counselor and the consumer jointly decide as to the nature of benefit by drawing up an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The ultimate goal of this program is to fulfill the need of employment of the individual.
Job coaching, diagnostic evaluation, job placement, vocational counseling and guidance, rehabilitation program, on the job training, and work adjustment training are the disability services which are provided without any cost. Total confidentiality regarding the records of state disability benefits to a particular person is maintained.
Social Security disability benefits are mainly offered through Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income. To avail these benefits, the eligibility criteria are categorically mentioned by the State administration as follows:
Adults: If an adult is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity through work due to medical reasons, causing mental or physical impairment leading to disablement for more than one year or for any terminal disease, he/she is eligible to claim disability benefits.
Children: Any child under the age of 18 years who has limitations for any physical or mental activity caused by impairment which may last for more than one year or cause death is eligible for such benefits.
The nature of impairment should be supported with visible signs and symptoms together with a doctor’s certificate and diagnostic findings to be medically acceptable.
Social Security Disability Benefits
These state disability services include cash payment to disabled persons or their dependents who have contributed to the Social Security Trust Fund. The law specifies that payment of cash cannot be made until the fifth month of disability has passed. The person or dependent will receive notice of the amount of payment and the commencement date. Periodical reviews are conducted to check the amount of recovery, if any, to decide whether the benefits should be extended or to be discontinued in the case that the person is able to work again. Cash benefits are normally paid monthly and generally, the birth date of the worker or spouse is fixed as the date of payment.
How to Apply
To be eligible to receive disability benefits, you must inform the relevant state authority immediately about the accident or the onset of a disease. The first step is to claim injury benefit in which case it is paid up to 26 weeks. On the verge of expiry of the injury benefit, you should claim the disablement benefit. The time limit for such a claim is three months from the end of the injury benefit. Furthermore, you need to fill up the prescribed form which is available in PDF format for instant download, and send it to the relevant state disability office.
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the state authority in rejecting the claim or determining an amount which is deemed to be low, you have every option to appeal for claiming your disability benefits. You have 21 days to file your appeal from the date of the refusal unless otherwise in exceptional cases. The decision of the Appeal Officer is final and binding under the prevailing state disability laws.
All necessary information relating to rules, disability benefits, notices and disability services available under the state disability laws are available at the office of the State Social Security Welfare office.
Here are links where you can find disability benefits and requirements for each state.