If you cannot work because of a physical or mental condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death, you may be eligible for cash disability benefits (and perhaps Medicare or Medicaid) under two programs administered by the federal Social Security Administration (SSA)–Social Security disability insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income.
The Social Security disability insurance program (often referred to as “SSDI” or “DIB” for short) pays benefits to you and certain family members if you are 1) disabled and 2) meet the program’s insured status requirement. To be insured, you must have enough Social Security “credits,” which you accrue as you work and pay Social Security taxes. Most people need 40 credits to qualify for benefits, but younger people may qualify with fewer.
In contrast, the Supplemental Security Income program (“SSI” for short) does not require that you have enough “credits.” Instead, SSI pays benefits to adults and children who are 1) disabled and 2) have limited income and resources. Income is money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits (e.g. SSDI) and pensions; income also includes such things as food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live.
Resources are things you own such as real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, and bonds. You cannot get SSI if your resources are worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. Some resources like your home and car, however, do not count towards these limits.
Determining whether you are disabled
To decide whether you are disabled for purposes of either SSDI or SSI, the SSA generally uses a step-by-step process involving the following five questions:
How we can help you win disability benefits
Applying for SSDI and/or SSI can be a time consuming and lengthy process. Hire us to take the work out of it for you and make sure the SSA has the right evidence to make a fully favorable decision on your claim. Here are some of the things we can do for you:
Don’t delay; contact us immediately for time is of the essence.
Other practice areas –
Plaintiff’s Personal Injury: Civil Defense : Special Education/American’s With Disabilities Act.