When you’re disabled, not being able to earn a living takes a toll on your finances as well as your emotional state. That’s why social security disability exists: to give you the opportunity to maintain a normal life and pay for the essentials. Know what this process entails so you can clear up any confusion.
SSDI vs. SSI
People often get SSDI and SSI confused because the initials are similar and they both offer benefits to the disabled. There are some major differences you should note about these two separate government programs, however. SSI, or supplementary income, is a program that’s strictly need-based according to income and assets. Funded by the government, it has nothing to do with work history. People who qualify for this program may also qualify for Medicaid and food stamps, depending on monthly income.
Conversely, SSDI is strictly funded through payroll taxes and recipients are considered injured because they’ve worked a certain number of years and have contributed to Social Security through taxes. In order to qualify, SSDI candidates must be younger than 65 and have earned a certain number of work credits. Generally, an applicant must have at least 40 credits to qualify.
SSDI Application Process
Even though applying for SSDI is an extensive process, it’s not overly difficult as long as you fill out information correctly and submit your application on time. Many people apply online because it’s quicker. You’ll also be required to mail in any important documents, such as medical evidence proving your disability.
What SSA Reviews in Your Application
To receive SSDI benefits, you must submit an application and prove that you’re disabled according SSA’s definition of the word. There are many aspects SSA considers when reviewing your application, such as your work history, severity of injury, and how much money you make.
They’ll also assess if you can do the work you used to be capable of. If you’re a forklift operator, for example, there are some operations both mentally and physically you need to perform on a daily basis. If you can’t perform these actions anymore or do so safely, your condition is severe enough to warrant benefits.
Sometimes, the SSA will see if you can perform other types of work, taking into account your age and disability. You may be able to transition to a job that’s less physically demanding, such as filing paperwork. In this case, your disability likely won’t qualify because you can still earn money.
There are a lot of regulations surrounding social security disability. If you believe your condition is severe enough to warrant such benefits, talk to social security disability attorneys today. Let them help prove your disability and file the application. Even if you get denied, they can still keep your case moving forward and help you receive benefits.
Disability Planner: How Much Work Do You Need?, ssa.gov
Apply for Benefits, secure.ssa.gov