Social Security benefit programs, including SSI and SSDI, are federal programs. This means that the laws regarding Social Security are not significantly different for Florida than for other states. No matter where you are in the country, the same administration provides the benefits and has the same eligibility guidelines.
However, this doesn’t mean there are no differences between applying in Florida and applying in another state, or that these differences won’t affect your benefits at all. Cases in Florida are not handled exactly the same way that they may be in another state. When you’re receiving or applying for disability benefits, small details can greatly affect you.
Florida and Social Security
Whether you’re currently receiving benefits or are just starting the application process, it’s important to know how the rules apply to your area. Where you live can affect:
- Payment amounts. For the need-based disability program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the state you live in can change the amount you receive, sometimes significantly. The federal minimum as of 2019 is $771 per month for individuals, or $1157 for couples if both partners are eligible. Some states give higher payments than the federal minimum, but Florida only does this for those in Medicaid facilities and some community care programs.
- How long you’ll wait for a hearing. If your application and your first appeal were rejected, you’ll have to request a hearing. Hearings are governed by the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), but the individual branch where you live will handle your case. Depending on where you live in Florida, you can expect to wait either several months or almost two years, but rarely sooner.
- The odds that you’ll be approved. While living in Florida won’t destroy your chances of success, this state does have a lower approval rate of 30%, compared to the national average of 30%. Different states can have drastically different approval rates.
Overall, Social Security laws are very similar across the nation. Whether you live in Florida or another state, you have certain rights. You have the right to apply, the right to appeal, and the right to be heard.
If you live in Florida and need help with your Social Security case, call our offices by phone, email, or text message for a free consultation. We can help you!