Social Security Disability Claims – The Basics
Black and Davison
If you have been hurt or are suffering an illness that prevents you from working, you may be eligible to collect Social Security disability benefits, even though the injury or illness is not work-related. Under the Social Security system, you may be eligible for two different types of benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI
Social Security disability insurance is available to persons with disabilities that prevent them from working and earning income. To qualify for SSDI, you must have a disability, as defined by the Social Security Administration. That disability must be permanent, must prevent you from working for at least 12 months, or must be expected to lead to your death. In addition, you must have accumulated enough Social Security credits to qualify. To do so, you must generally work in a job where you contribute to the Social Security system through the payment of FICA taxes. The number of credits you need will depend on your age and when you became disabled. If you collect Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months, you will qualify for insurance coverage through Medicare, with no age restrictions.
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI
The qualifications for Supplemental Security income vary from state to state, so you’ll need to learn what your particular state provides. Under the guidelines, though, you must meet all of the following tests to be eligible for payments through SSI:
- You must be at least 65, or you must be blind or disabled
- You must generally be a citizen of the United States—there are very limited exceptions to this that an attorney can explain to you
- Because SSI is need-based, you must not have significant earned income—most states limit you to $1,400 or less per month
- You cannot own more than $2,000 worth of property ($3,000 for a married couple)
Contact Our Experienced Social Security Attorneys
Send us an e-mail or call our office to schedule an appointment to learn how we can help with a Social Security disability or Supplemental Security income claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request.