How to Qualify for Social Security Disability in Florida

If you’re disabled because of a physical or mental health condition and you can’t work anymore you can apply for Social Security disability in Florida. Workers in Florida who are forced to quit working because they become sick or injured may receive Social Security disability benefit payments that can help them pay for things like housing, utilities, food, and medical costs. 

Understanding the Definition of Disability in Florida

Florida law is similar to Federal law when it comes to defining what disability means and who is considered disabled in Florida. The Americans With Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

If you have a physical or mental condition that is expected to last at least 12 months and you can’t work because of that condition you can be considered disabled by the Social Security Administration

What Conditions Qualify For Disability In Florida?

There are more than 200 different physical and mental health conditions that qualify someone to receive Social Security disability benefits in Florida. In order to be eligible to be approved for Social Security disability benefits, you must have one of the conditions that are recognized by the SSA.

The SSA’s Blue Book contains listings for all of the conditions that meet the SSA’s criteria for disability. Every listing that’s in the Blue Book also contains a unique set of requirements. You must show evidence that you meet all of the requirements that are in the Blue Book listing for the condition that you have in order to get approved for SSDI. 

To see if the condition that you have is listed in the Blue Book you can browse through the Blue Book on the SSA’s website. Or, if you want to look at a physical copy of the book you can visit your local SSA office. They will have a physical copy of the Blue Book

Before your application for Social Security disability benefits in Florida will be approved you will also need to show that you have worked in the past and that you expect that you won’t be able to work for at least a year. 

Types of Disability Benefits Available in Florida

You may qualify for one of the two different types of disability benefits available in Florida. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Support Income benefits. 

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI is a disability benefit in Florida that is paid to people who have a medical condition that makes it impossible for them to work now even though they have worked in the past. In order to qualify for SSDI you must have earned work credits and you must expect that your condition will make it impossible for you to work for at least a year. Anyone who has worked can apply for Social Security disability benefits in Florida. There are no income restrictions or requirements. 

The money that you receive from SSDI monthly payments once your application is approved can be spent on any of your living expenses. That includes things like rent, mortgage, food, utilities, clothing, and medical expenses not covered by your insurance. 

The average disability benefit payment in Florida is $1,521 per month, but the amount of money that you are awarded will depend on many factors that are unique to your situation. 

Supplemental Support Income

SSI, or Supplemental Support Income, is a monthly benefit that is paid to people who have never worked but are very low income, or to the parents of children who have a medical disability and are low income. Unlike SSDI there is a financial requirement that must be met in order to get SSI. Parents applying for SSI for a child or someone receiving SSI because they have been sick since childhood and can’t work must show that they meet the income limit set by the Social Security Administration in order to be approved for SSI.

Gathering Documentation Required for Disability Applications

It doesn’t matter what type of Social Security disability benefits in Florida you’re applying for when it comes to documentation. You must submit a long list of required documents and forms with your application or your application won’t be approved. 

The number one reason why applications for Social Security disability benefits in Florida are denied is that the forms aren’t filled out correctly and there isn’t enough documentation included with the application. It’s essential that you include all the documentation necessary to prove your disability with your application. You will need to include:

  • Birth certificate (certified copy is acceptable)
  • Social Security card
  • For naturalized citizens, a certificate of citizenship or permanent resident card (green card) that is in good standing (i.e., renewed and not expired)
  • If married, your marriage certificate or marriage license
  • If divorced from a marriage that lasted more than 10 years, a copy of the judgment of divorce and, in some instances, a copy of the findings of fact or separation agreement
  • Dependent information if you have children  (i.e., their names, SSNs, birthdates, and a brief description)
  • Copies of your W-2 forms, 1099s, or self-employment tax returns from the last two years
  • Proof of the date of onset of your medical condition
  • Proof of your work history including pay stubs
  • Information and a description of each job you have had for the last 10 to 20 years, tasks and duties, and what work you did while there
  • Any information on military service, if applicable, including discharge papers
  • Medical proof to support your disability, sometimes in the form of your medical records but sometimes you may need a medical expert or an affidavit from a treating physician to establish your injury or illness
  • Copies of medical records
  • A completed Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form that is completed by your primary care doctor or another type of treating physician

If you’re not sure how to fill out the application forms or what medical documentation you should include talk to a Florida disability lawyer before applying. 

After all forms and documentation has been gathered, you can apply for disability in Florida over the phone, online, or in person at a Florida Social Security Office.

How To Find A Disability Lawyer Taking Cases In Florida

The best thing you can do before submitting your application for Florida disability benefits is talk with a Social Security lawyer who specializes in Florida Social Security disability cases.

 A Social Security disability lawyer taking cases in Florida can help you comb through your medical documentation and decide what to include with the application. They can also help you fill out all the application forms correctly.  

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation now and you will be connected to an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help you with your Florida disability application.

Additional Florida Disability Resources

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