A blog submitted by Peter Blake
PR Coordinator | Marasco & Nesselbush
Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits to people in need of financial assistance due to a life-altering injury or mental condition that prevents them from holding a full-time job and supporting themselves.
The two major programs, SSDI and SSI, provide a financial benefit on a monthly basis that covers basic living costs. In order to obtain benefits, you have to apply to the Social Security Administration SSA for either program, provide the required information, and wait for the agency to make a decision. However, qualifying for SSDI or SSI can be difficult for various reasons, and help from a lawyer to get approved for benefits may be necessary.
What is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is a federal government benefits program funded by payroll taxes. It provides financial aid to qualifying adults with disabilities if they have earned 20 work credits in the last 10 years. People who can prove they have a mental or physical condition that resulted from an injury and restricts or prevents them from working are usually eligible for SSDI.
What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is also a federal benefits program but is funded by general taxes instead of payroll taxes. It helps children and adults who meet one or more of the following criteria:
● Age 65 or older with no work history
The program is open to those with little to no income who are limited in their ability to hold down regular employment. It’s similar to Social Security benefits, but qualifying is based on disability as opposed to income.
Who qualifies for each?
Both programs provide benefits to people who are unable to work through disability, but SSDI is intended for adults who were able to work until they became disabled. SSI is for those who have been unable to hold a job for any length of time throughout their life.
Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI
SSDI is for people who have worked up until recently and have been employed in positions that are covered by Social Security. The disability must meet the SSA’s definition of a disability, and it has to prevent you from working for at least a year.
Work credits earned from wages or self-employment are also required, but the income needed for SSDI changes every year. You can earn up to four work credits each year, and you can get all four credits after you’ve earned more than the minimum income for the year.
For example, in 2021, a credit was awarded after a worker earned $1,470 in wages. After earning $5,880 in 2021, a worker received all four credits.
Supplemental Security Income SSI
SSI is for those who are over the age of 65 or unable to work due to disability or blindness. You must have income from earnings or pensions and have little in the way of resources to help you survive. The program is not funded through payroll taxes, unlike SSDI, and you’re not required to have work credits when applying.
The application process for both SSDI and SSI requires information that proves you are unable to work in your field or unable to work at all due to disability. Getting approved for either type of disability is a difficult process due to strict criteria and the requirements to prove your eligibility. You’ll have to obtain medical records that date back to the moment you were injured or diagnosed with an illness that impaired your ability to work.
The qualifying criteria for SSDI include working in jobs that contributed to Social Security and having a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. You must also be unable to work for at least a year after receiving your disability.
How to apply?
The applications for SSDI and SSI are the same and are available on the Social Security Administration’s website. Follow the instructions and fill out the form to the best of your abilities. It’s better to complete as much of the form as you can than to leave areas blank.
What information is needed?
In order to apply for SSDI or SSI, you’ll need the following information:
● Date and place of birth
● Marriage and divorce
● Names and dates of birth of children who are disabled prior to age 22 or are under 18 and unmarried or attending school full time
● U.S. military service
● Employer details for the current year and two years prior, excluding self-employment
● Self-employment details for the current year and two years prior
● Direct deposit information
● Alternate contact
● List of medical conditions
● Information about doctors, healthcare professionals, hospitals, and clinics
● Related medical records from non-medical sources
● Job history
● Education and training
The checklist provides further details about the type of information you need for the application.
In further blogs, we will be discussing more on Social Security Disability Benefits and what if your application is denied?
Author Peter Blake
PR Coordinator | Marasco & Nesselbush [ TOP RATED INJURY ATTORNEY Firm of USA]