According to the Utah Department of Health, about one out of every five adults in the state is disabled. If you’re part of that group, you may qualify for disability benefits.
Utah residents can apply for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), both of which are federal programs that provide assistance to disabled individuals. Here’s what you need to know about applying for disability benefits in Utah.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits
The disability benefits application process for Utah residents is the same as that in other states. This is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) – which runs the SSDI and SSI programs – is an agency of the federal government.
You can apply for benefits at the SSA website, over the phone with a representative from the SSA or in person at one of Utah’s five field offices. You can also fill out a paper form and mail it to your local Social Security office. Or, you may choose to have a qualified disability advocate or disability attorney complete the application on your behalf.
Should You Apply for SSDI or SSI?
The medical requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are the same – meaning that you must have a long-term medical condition that prevents you from working to qualify for disability benefits through either program.
The main difference between the two is that SSDI requires applicants to have a recent work history, with Social Security taxes paid on the income earned. For SSI, prior employment isn’t necessary, as the program is designed to provide assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources.
If you meet the requirements of SSDI and SSI, you can collect benefits through both programs. However, the SSDI benefits will offset your SSI benefits, as the SSA limits the amount of financial assistance you can receive.
Take Advantage of Your Right to Professional Representation
While you can apply for disability benefits on your own, you also have the right to representation. Whether or not you decide to seek out the help of a professional advocate or disability attorney is your choice, but research shows that having an expert on your side can boost your odds of getting approved for benefits.
Disability advocates and attorneys are very familiar with the applications for SSDI and SSI, and their specialized knowledge gives them the ability to avoid mistakes and omissions that result in claims being denied. And when necessary, advocates and attorneys have the expertise to walk clients through every step of the disability appeals process. As such, disabled individuals who have professional representation are more likely to get the benefits they need.
Are you thinking about applying for disability benefits? The highly experienced team at Mountain West Disability, serving clients in Utah and across the country, includes dedicated advocates, attorneys and other specialists. We’ve helped hundreds of people successfully navigate the disability process – and we’d love to help you secure an approval.
For a free case evaluation, or to learn more about how to apply for disability benefits in Utah, contact us today.