When are You Eligible for Disability Benefits in Ohio

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: March 29th, 2018 | Categories: Social Security Disability

Each program that offers disability benefits sets its own criteria for eligibility. The Columbus, Ohio-based disability lawyers with the Jones Law Group outline the basics on qualifying for four of the most-commonly accessed programs here.

If you have additional questions about any of these, or if you need assistance with an application or appeal, call us at (614) 545-9998 to request a consultation. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by completing this online contact form.


Ohio Worker’s Compensation

Workers’ comp is primarily designed to deliver short-term benefits to cover up to six months of medical treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation following an injury on the job or the development of an occupational illness. It will also cover permanent disabilities and disfigurements such as amputations, the loss of an eye or ear, or going deaf or blind. Last, family members can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits when a father or mother dies as a result of a workplace accident or exposure to toxic materials.

You are eligible to apply for workers’ comp benefits if you

  • Suffer an injury or fall ill while doing work-related tasks,
  • Were employed by or under contract with the organization for which you were doing work, and
  • The organization participates in the Ohio Workers’ Compensation program.

Other rules apply, and employers are allowed to contest a worker’s eligibility for benefits. One argument many employers make is that the person seeking benefits was not following proper safety procedures at the time of the injury or exposure. Consequently, working with an experienced workers’ comp attorney to prepare an application can be a good idea.


Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income

The federal Social Security Administration provides long-term disability benefits and essential income support to adults who have contributed to the program through payroll deductions and to the children of individuals who would be eligible for benefits.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is designed to help people who have physical or mental conditions that make them unable to work. You are eligible to apply for SSDI benefits if an injury or illness

  • Lasts 12 months or will prove fatal,
  • Makes it impossible to continue doing the work you once did, and
  • Makes it impossible to take another job different from the one you previously held.

Applying for SSDI benefits requires submitting extensive medical evidence, and denials of first-time applications are common. Partnering with a dedicated Social Security disability lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, when first starting to apply will help you avoid errors or omissions that increase the chances for rejection. A lawyer who helps prepare an SSDI application will also be prepared to take on an appeal if one becomes necessary.

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is available to people who could qualify for SSDI and who also have little or no financial resources. Eligibility is need-based, so applying requires fully documenting monthly income from all sources, providing details on assets that have cash value, and calculating monthly expenses for food, clothing, and rent or mortgage payments. Applicants for SSI benefits can work with a Columbus, Ohio, Social Security attorney when putting together their application and while pursuing an appeal of a benefits denial.


Public Employee Retirement Systems

In Ohio, public school teachers, local police and firefighters, state employees, county or city workers, and many people who work at state-funded colleges and universities do not participate in Social Security while they hold those positions. Their retirement and disability needs are met through programs like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or the State Teachers Retirement System (STERS).

Only individuals who cannot qualify for SSDI can apply for disability benefits through OPERS or STRS. Meeting this eligibility requirement is often difficult because many people who hold public sector jobs also take jobs in the private sector at one time or another and, subsequently, do pay into Social Security for certain periods. Sitting down with a knowledgeable Ohio disability lawyer will help you understand whether applying to SSSDI or a public employee retirement system is the right way to go.


Short- or Long-Term Disability Insurance

Several insurance companies offer short- and long-term disability policies to Ohio residents. Each insurer maintains its own set of basic eligibility requirements, and the types and amounts of benefits available to plan participants will vary from policy to policy. Consulting with an attorney while selecting insurance coverage can help ensure claims get approved when they are submitted. A disability lawyer will also be able to help appeal denials of coverage.

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