Understanding the two main social security disability programs

Social security disability benefits, in general, are available to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. Benefits are received via governmental programs administered by the Social Security Administration, or SSA.

There are two different programs individuals can apply for to receive disability benefits: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. Each program has its own qualifications.

SSDI eligibility

Social Security Disability Insurance, known as SSDI, is an assistance program that provides financial help to disabled individuals. The program helps them purchase basic human necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.

However, to qualify for SSDI, individuals must have paid social security taxes through their previous paychecks-essentially as an insurance policy. The tax is commonly seen on a paycheck as FICA. Employees pay a FICA tax and, in the event they become disabled, are guaranteed monetary benefits-just like many other insurance policies.

Additionally, other requirements must be met to qualify. Generally, SSDI candidates must be younger than 65 years of age, been disabled for at least 5 years, and earned a certain amount of what's known as "work credits."

Consulting with an experienced SSDI attorney to learn more about "work credits" is advised.

SSI eligibility

Supplemental Security Income, commonly known as SSI, is also a program that helps provide monetary assistance to disabled individuals. However, the eligibility requirements are different from Social Security Disability Insurance.

To be eligible for SSI, individuals need not have worked previous to their disability and paid FICA payroll taxes. Instead, the SSI program is available for individuals who meet certain income and asset thresholds. For instance, child with a disability whom has never paid social security taxes, for instance, would qualify.

Generally, SSI applicants cannot possess more than $2000 worth of assets. However, the legalities surrounding property and SSI qualification is complex and seeking the advice of a social security lawyer to learn more is recommended.

Additional SSI benefits

Individuals who meet the criteria for SSI can also qualify to receive food stamps. The amount, however, is dependent on what state individuals reside in.

Additionally, disabled individuals receiving SSI are also eligible for Medicaid-a federal program that offers free healthcare to people with limited financial means.

Applying for benefits is a complex procedure

Understanding all of the intricate requirements and procedures that are needed in order to apply for either SSDI or SSI are complex. Waiting periods, partial disability benefits, timeframes to receive benefits are all additional intricate areas of the law that need to be examined by a professional. Consulting with an experienced social security disability benefits attorney who understands the details of the law is a great first step.