Social Security Disability Insurance is intended to protect individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. But who is eligible? How do you proceed? And what can you expect? We’ve created this guide to answer those questions and more. This will help you understand how this program works, whether you are eligible, and what steps to take next.
First things first, let’s look at some background.
What Is Social Security And What Does It Do?
The circumstances are different if you are a non-citizen of the United States. If you want to find out more about your eligibility to apply for a social security number for a non-citizen, call Immigration Attorney Nancy Norman at 781-592-4666.
Social Security, run by the Federal Government’s Social Security Administration, is best known as a benefits program for retirees, but it also provides benefits to survivors and people with disabilities. People pay into the program through their employers and receive payments when they are eligible.
Most people apply for a social security number for their child when completing a birth registration form at the hospital. This number is used for identification to track whether you pay into the system and how much as well as whether you receive benefits. It’s also used as a form of identification by many external organizations such as schools, banks, and service providers. If you or your child does not have a social security number, you can visit your local Social Security Administration office and request a number in person.
What Is Supplemental Security Income?
Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, is a program that provides monthly payments to people who have limited income and few resources. Those eligible include people who are 65 or older along with other adults and children who have disabilities. SSI ultimately provides payments that can help meet basic needs such as clothing, shelter, and food.
Typically, recipients have resources worth $2000 or less, however, there may be exceptions.
It is important to note that not everyone receives the same level of benefits. If you have other sources of income such as pensions, wages, or Social Security benefits, your amount may be smaller. If you live in a state that adds money to the federal SSI payment, your amount may be larger.
NOTE: You must be a U.S. citizen or national OR in a certain category of aliens to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, also pays benefits to people with disabilities. However, this program is for people who were insured for SSDI as of the date of becoming disabled. Being insured is a function of how many quarters an individual worked and whether they had social security payroll taxes withheld or paid self-employment taxes before becoming disabled.
Payments could be made to a spouse and unmarried children up to certain ages depending on their educational or disability status. In the case of a claimant’s untimely death, survivorship benefits might also continue paying the same surviving relatives.
Comparing SSI and SSDI
NOTE: Did you know that you may be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you’re already receiving retirement and/or SSDI benefits? However, you must be considered disabled according to the SSA’s definition of disability and your income/assets must be limited even after collecting SSDI benefits.
Both SSI and SSDI have distinct eligibility criteria that applicants need to meet to receive either program benefit.
SSI is based on the individual’s work history, age, impairments, and restricted assets.
SSDI on the other hand is available for someone who can no longer work due to a medical condition that has lasted or will last a year or worst-case scenario results in death.
** Social Security Administrations of Disability: “The law defines disability as the inability to do any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
How Do You Make an SSDI Claim?
An individual who becomes disabled can apply for benefits. It is not unusual for claims to be denied at this stage. There is an appeal process that requires greater attention to deadlines and details. There are four stages in the appeal process:
- Appeals Council
- Federal Court
This process is very detail-oriented, and you will only move on to a hearing if your reconsideration or appeal is denied. If your appeal is granted at any step along the process, you will typically begin receiving benefits but remember, EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT!
|SSI Compared to SSDI||Supplemental Security Income||Social Security Disability Insurance|
|How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?||~ Can be at least 65 and blind or any age and disabled
~ Are a U.S. citizen or national (some exceptions apply to noncitizens)
~ Have limited or no resources and income
~ Reside in of the 50 U.S. states
|~ Must have a medical condition that meets SSA’s definition of disabled**
~ Worked a specified amount of time with an employer while being covered by social security.
|How Do I apply?
We have included links that will direct you to the appropriate forum for further instructions on how to apply based on age.
| Under 18 Years Old:
Ages 18 – 64: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/adults.html
Age 65 and older: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/65older.html
|~ Follow this link for more details!
The content provided in this blog is made available by the Law Offices of Horrigan & Norman for information purposes. It contains general information and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call or complete our intake form here.