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Are you in need of income help from the United States Social Security Administration (SSA)? Then you may qualify for one of the two types of Social Security Disability Benefits available. One is based on your work history (SSDI), the other is a need-based program (SSI).
Both programs offer benefits for disabled individuals, but their eligibility requirements and levels of benefits are different. Disability Lawyer Sam Earley can help you determine if you qualify for either or both programs.
Different Benefits from Different Social Security Disability Programs
Even though these two programs might appear similar at first, they serve two distinct groups of people.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to those disabled persons who have a history of work and contributions into the Social Security program. Benefits are calculated according to a weighted formula that depends on your length of work and the total amount of contributions to date.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides benefits to everyone equally based on need. It is administered by the Social Security Administration but is funded by general tax dollars and not Social Security. Many states also add supplemental benefits to SSI recipients.
Now that we understand who these programs serve, let’s see what a person needs to do to qualify for each respective program.
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
Some of the Social Security Disability Insurance program’s requirements are directly related to both the work history of a person, while others have to do with their medical history. An applicant needs to meet four specific requirements related to either to qualify for SSDI benefits.
These four requirements are an established history of paying into the Social Security program, sufficient Social Security work credits, a qualifying disabling condition, and sufficient documentation of that condition. Let’s take a closer look to understand each requirement.
SSDI Requirement 1: Your Work Record
The Social Security Administration examines your work history for the type and duration of work. Basically, you must have a record of working and paying into Social Security at least five to ten years prior to becoming disabled. The longer you have worked and paid into the program, the better chance you have of gaining the highest benefits.
SSDI Requirement 2: Sufficient Work Credits
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you also need enough “work credits.” These are credits based on specific periods of time you worked.
You earn one credit for every $1,640 in earnings, with a maximum of four credits per year ($6,560). You need at least 40 credits or 10 years of work to be eligible for SSDI.
SSDI Requirement 3: Your Disabling Condition
Your disability must appear on an SSA-approved list of disabling conditions that must include your disablement. Thus, not every disability or condition is approved; rather, the SSA considers a qualifying disability as a medical condition expected to last longer than one year and/or result in death.
SSDI Requirement 4: Sufficient Medical Documentation
The final requirement for a SSDI claim is to have thoroughly documented medical records of your approved condition from qualified physicians. These records should include details of your injury, diagnosis, treatment, tests, scans, therapy, rehabilitation, and prognosis for the future.
Our experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers can help you at every step. This includes helping you determine your eligibility, gathering all the necessary resources, assisting with the preparation of a claim, and guiding the application process. Contact us today for more information or assistance.
How to Qualify for Supplemental Security Income Benefits
The requirements for receiving SSI benefits are far different than those of SSDI. These benefits largely have to do with circumstances as opposed to a well-documented work and medical history.
In order to qualify for Supplemental Security Income, applicants must be at least age 65, blind or disabled, and meet certain citizenship or naturalization and residential requirements. There are also resource and income thresholds you cannot go over for eligibility.
These calculations are specific and can become complicated. For example, there are basic asset and income caps, but only certain things are counted as assets or income. Your primary home is not counted, but the first $65 of any monthly income is counted, along with one dollar out of every two after that.
An experienced Supplemental Security Income Attorney can help you with the necessary calculations as well as provide advice on how to legally shield some of your assets from SSI calculations. Contact us today for a free consultation about your SSI eligibility.
Get Help From An Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security Disability Attorney Sam Earley can help you determine your eligibility and file a claim for SSDI or SSI. Our skilled and experienced Social Security Disability team knows how to prepare disability claims that give you the best possible chance of success, including avoiding common pitfalls that result in rejections. We will work hard to help you make a successful claim for SSDI or SSI.
Social Security Disability Attorneys That Understand The Legal System
Even though it may seem simple, there are many complications in the process of applying for both SSDI and SSI benefits. Not only that, but supplying all of the necessary documentation can be overwhelming for many.
Teaming up with Disability Attorney Sam Earley is the best way to successfully navigate through the requirements and regulations of the Social Security Administration. His team knows exactly what to expect and how to handle each step of your unique case in order to maximize your benefits.
Contact Our Social Security Disability Attorneys To File Your Benefits Claim Today
If you believe you have a legitimate disability claim and could qualify for SSDI or SSI, call Disability Attorney Sam Earley at 770-881-7171 or complete our online contact form to get the help you need.