If tragedy strikes and you are disabled from performing any work due to an accident or disease, you may file an application with Social Security for what are usually called “benefits,” but what we think of as your right to a reasonable living wage when you are too disabled to work.
Call the Social Security Administration or apply on your computer, and you will be given the option of filing for Title II disability (SSDI), Title XVI Supplemental Security Income, or both.
It may be best that you file for both. If have household income over the administration’s limit, or if you own property, you may be found to be ineligible for SSI and you can proceed with your SSDI case.
In most cases you will hope to receive SSDI, because your payment will likely be higher, you won’t have to worry about disqualifying income or assets, and you will eventually be eligible for Medicare.
In order to qualify for SSDI, however, you have to be insured for these benefits. SSDI is, in fact, an insurance program – the premiums you pay arise from the payroll taxes you have contributed over the years. That is why we prefer to think of social security disability payments as right, not a benefit. That’s why we say, “Social Security Disability – You Paid For It, You Deserve It.”