Social Security Disability Glossary

Your right to ask the SSA to review your case if you disagree with their decision.

The Administrative Law Judge who will make a decision about your disability case at the hearing.

Application for Benefits:
The application you must fill out to apply for social security disability benefits. You may apply in person at a local office, over the phone, or with the help of a qualified attorney.

Compassionate Allowance Conditions:
Obvious disabilities that can be identified and verified quickly and meet the standards of the SSA.

Total disability means your inability to work based on certain medical conditions and illnesses that are expected to last for at least a year or are fatal. Short-term and partial disabilities do not qualify for social security disability benefits.

FICA: Federal Insurance Contributions Act
The tax withheld from your monthly income to pay for social security and Medicare programs.

The federal and state program that helps people with limited income and resources pay for medical costs.

The federal program that helps people over 65 or younger people with disabilities pay for health insurance.

SGA: Substantial Gainful Activity
Earnings under this amount may qualify you for SSD or SSI benefits, currently $1000 per month in Massachusetts.

Social Security:
Taxes you pay while you work so you will receive monthly payments back after you retire (Disability payments will usually be the same or similar to the amount of your future social security payments).

Social Security Credits:
Credits earned as you pay social security taxes (generally four per year for ten years will give you the amount of credits needed to be eligible for SSDI).

SSA: The United States Social Security Administration.

SSD: Social Security Disability

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance

SSI: Supplemental Security Income

Wage Earner:
A person who earns social security credits while working for a monthly income.

View a complete glossary of the SSA’s social security disability terms

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