Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Social Security Disability | 0 comments

There are two Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which pays benefits to “insured” disabled individuals and certain members of thier family; and, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits to disabled individuals based on their financial need.

SSDI and SSI are the U.S. Federal government’s two largest programs aimed at providing financial assistance to qualified individuals or individuals who meet the criteria set by the Social Security Administration. SSDI was introduced in 1956, while SSI was created in 1974. Though both are managed by the SSA, each address different disability needs and have different requirements for qualification.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), specifically, pays benefits to insured members who are totally disabled. “Insured members” refer to individuals 65 years old or below, who:

  • Have worked long enough (or recently enough) and have paid Social Security taxes or Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes while employed (these taxes, which are paid on a monthly basis, are automatically deducted from their salary);
  • Have earned the SSA-required number of credits (four credits earned every year); and,
  • Are suffering from total disability which: (i) renders them incapable of performing their previous work or any other work; (ii) has either lasted for a year or is likely to last for at least a year; and, (iii) can be expected to result in death.

The Social Security Administration has drawn up a list of severe medical conditions. If an insured member’s claimed disability is included in this list, and if he/she has earned the required number of credits, then he/she may be eligible to receive the benefits paid through SSDI. Otherwise, SSA will require an evaluation to determine if his/her health condition is serious enough to be considered a form of total disability.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, on the other hand, are paid to individuals who are, at least, 65 years old, blind, or disabled and whose income or resources fall within the federal benefit rate (FBR) determined by the government.

SSI is aimed at helping provide for the basic needs of its beneficiaries, including food, shelter and clothing. In a number of states, SSI benefits application is also considered as application for food stamps, while other states allow the benefits to be supplemented by Medicaid to cover prescriptions, doctor’s fee and other medical care costs.

As explained by the Hankey Law Office, disability benefits vary in amount and duration. Whatever the amount a beneficiary will receive, though, it will always be a reliable source of income that will make a world of difference in the lives of disabled individuals and their families. To make sure that applicants for claims get approved for either an SSDI or SSI benefit, or both, having an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer helping them through the whole process may be advantageous.

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