Is a disability preventing you or your loved one from earning a full-time income? If so, it can put a serious financial burden on your family. To help relieve the pressure, support may be available through a federal disability program. Here, you will find an overview of the two primary disability programs for disabled Americans.
You May Be Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits
The term “Social Security disability benefits” actually refers to financial support paid by two separate federal programs. As these programs have different rules and eligibility standards, it is crucial that you have a basic understanding of the differences. You may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits through:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program funded through payroll taxes (FICA taxes). Overseen by the SSA, the SSDI program provides ongoing income support payments to people who cannot reasonably work due to a disability, medical condition, or physical impairment. Notably, not all disabled adults are eligible to receive SSDI benefits. You must have adequate work history—based on your age—to be insured under the program. Most people must have worked at least five of the last ten years prior to sustaining their disability. Though, the standards are somewhat relaxed for younger workers.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested disability program funded through general tax revenue. You do not need any work history to apply for SSI benefits. In fact, even a disabled child may be entitled to cash support through an SSI claim. An applicant will be deemed ineligible for SSI disability benefits if their monthly income is too high. SSI is subject to more strict income standards than SSDI.
Make sure that you are seeking benefits through the appropriate federal financial program for disabled people. In crafting your application, you need to meet all requirements—including financial and legal eligibility standards. Are you getting ready to file an initial Social Security Disability application? You can better from scheduling a free initial consultation with an experienced disability attorney who can help you prepare a strong, well-supported claim for benefits.