The Social Security Administration has two disability programs for people who have become disabled, are unable to work, and require monthly cash benefit payments to replace the wages they have lost due to their inability to work and earn a living:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is the program designed for those who have worked and paid their Social Security taxes for years prior to becoming disabled. If an individual is determined to be disabled, the individual will receive SSDI benefits regardless of the individual’s assets or family income.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is more of a “needs-based” program. You do not need to have worked or paid Social Security taxes in order to qualify. The amount of the monthly benefit is limited. SSI is designed to assist disabled individuals with very basic living costs. To qualify for SSI payments, and the claimant must be “poor enough”; he or she cannot have family assets or income over a certain limit.
Overview of Disability Benefits From the SSA
The SSDI and SSI programs are similar in many ways and many requirements apply to both:
- What Is the Difference Between Social Security Disability (SSDI) and SSI?
- The Criteria for Disability Benefits
- The Disability Application Process
- How You Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
- Can You Qualify for Both SSDI and SSI Disability Benefits?
- Reasons to Apply for Disability Benefits From Social Security
- Disability FAQ
- Questions on the Basics of Disability
Social Security Disability (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are only available to disabled people who have paid Social Security taxes for many years.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits Overview
SSDI is only for workers who have paid taxes into the Social Security system and earned enough work credits.
How Much In Monthly Social Security Disability Benefits Can You Receive?
The amount of your monthly SSDI payment depends on your average lifetime earnings.
What Other Benefits Will I Receive If I’m Approved for SSDI?
In addition to a monthly cash benefit, you will be eligible for Medicare and back-due benefits for the time during your application and appeal.
The Five-Month Waiting Period for Social Security Disability Benefits
You are not paid disability benefits for the five months after your disability onset date.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI does not have the same work requirement as SSDI benefits. However, SSI applicants must financially qualify for benefits based on need.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
SSI is available to those who have never worked or haven’t worked enough. SSI may be the only program they are eligible for.
How Can I Get SSI?
You may qualify for SSI if you: (1) have low income and assets and (2) are disabled. You can apply for SSI on the phone with SSA or at your local Social Security district office.
How Much Can You Receive in Monthly SSI Disability Cash Benefits?
Your SSI payment depends on your housing situation, what other income you may have, and the state you live in.
Can a Social Security Disability Attorney Help Speed Up a Disability Claim?
An experienced attorney may give you more opportunities to win earlier in the Social Security disability case, which would result in speeding up the very long process.
Should I Hire a Disability Attorney to Help Me File an Initial Application or Claim for Disability?
Educate yourself about the whether an attorney may be appropriate for you in your Social Security Disability claim.
Do You Need to Have a Lawyer to Represent You at a Social Security Disability Hearing?
Although you are not required to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in a Social Security Disability claim, your chances of winning may improve with legal representation.
Should You Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney at the Reconsideration Stage of Appeal?
If you received a denial in a Notice of Determination in your Social Security disability claim, you should at least consider a free consultation with a lawyer.
Does a Disability Attorney Actually Improve Your Chances of Winning a Disability Claim?
Statistics have shown that an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can improve your case by ensuring all paperwork and evidence is handled properly.