What are Disability Benefits?
Disability benefits are governmental payments made to American citizens who cannot work as a result of physical or mental illness. To obtain benefits, individuals must thoroughly prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that their health condition is expected to last and will prevent them from working for at least one full year.
Although both share that basic qualification, there are two vastly different disability benefit programs administered by the SSA. They are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI).
1) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual and his or her employer must have paid toward the SSDI program for a specified amount of time. These payments are legally required to be deducted from every paycheck – thus, the longer one has been working, the more likely he/she will qualify for SSDI benefits.
Workers also earn “credits” when they pay SSDI taxes. Generally, 20 credits are needed to qualify for SSDI benefits. Essentially, like the name suggests, the aforementioned tax payments are a form of insurance.
Because SSDI benefits are based on earned income, the more that you have recently paid, the more you will receive when awarded.
2) Social Security Income (SSI):
Unlike SSDI, there are no previous employment requirements that determine your eligibility for SSI. To qualify, an individual must not exceed a pre-determined level of resources. What is considered a resource varies by state, but any asset that can be converted into cash for financial support should be noted. These most commonly include but are not limited to:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
SSI is a welfare-based program that is intended to assist persons who cannot meet the work requirements of SSDI. It is important to note that the amount received in benefits from the SSI program cannot exceed the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), otherwise known as the Federal Payment Standard.
Call us today at (800) 248-1100 to find out if you qualify for SSDI.
How We Can Help:
Our expert legislative teams have years of familiarity with social security disability claims, so we understand precisely what steps and information are necessary for a successful claim. If your case makes it to a hearing, you may need to appear in front of an Administrative Law judge and we’ll be right there by your side. Our case managers have experience handling the particulars of many wide-ranging conditions, from mental disorders like bipolar and depression, to pain-inducing illnesses like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
To see if you’re eligible, please give us a call at (800) 248-1100 for a free consultation!