If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for benefits through the Social Security Administration. There are two different programs, each with a specific set of requirements.
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI
SSDI, a benefit established under the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program, is available to individuals with a disability. To be eligible, you must have earned a specific number of “work credits” through the Social Security Administration. The number of credits required varies, based on how old you are and when you became disabled. As a general rule, though, you must have worked during five of the last 10 years before your disability. In addition, your illness or injury must either keep you from working for a minimum of 12 months or be expected to result in your death.
The amount you receive monthly will depend in part on how much you paid in FICA taxes while you were employed. Once you have received Social Security disability benefits for two years, you will be eligible for Medicare.
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI
SSI benefits are available to individuals based on either disability or age, as well as income. SSI benefits—both eligibility requirements and amount paid— vary based on the state in which you live. To qualify for these benefits, though, you must:
- Be blind, disabled or at least 65 years old
- Have a low monthly income—typically $700 to $1,400, depending where you live
- Be a citizen of the United States or meet other requirements establishing permanent residency, asylum or refugee status
- Have less than $2,000 in assets (not counting your home or vehicle), or $3,000 for married couples
We handle all Social Security disability cases on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we get compensation for your losses.