I Think I Am Disabled: What Type Of Disability Benefits Should I Be Seeking?
When you have suffered a serious injury that has left you disabled and unable to work, or you have been diagnosed with a debilitating illness or condition, our national disability benefits attorneys know how important it is to find out quickly about your options for seeking disability benefits. If you cannot work, not only will your regular bills begin to pile up, but you will also need help covering the costs of your medical care. Depending upon your specific circumstances, you may have a few different options for seeking disability benefits. It will be important to have an attorney evaluate your situation to help you understand the specific type of disability benefits that you may be eligible to receive, especially before you spend a significant amount of time filing an application for benefits. In the meantime, our dedicated disability lawyers can give you some more information that can help you to learn more about possibilities for obtaining benefits.
Eligibility for Disability Benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) Requires a Specific Definition of a Disability
In order to be eligible for any type of disability benefits administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will need to meet a specific definition of a disability. The SSA defines a disability as a disabling condition that is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death, and which prevents the person from engaging in any substantial gainful activity (SGA).
Two Kinds of Disability Benefits May Be Available to You Through the SSA
There are two types of disability benefits that may be available through the SSA:
- Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI; and
- Supplemental Security Income, or SSI.
Beyond meeting the definition of a disability according to the SSA, the eligibility requirements are very different for SSDI and SSI. SSDI eligibility is based on your work record, while SSI eligibility is based on your having limited income and assets. SSDI is available regardless of your income and assets, and these benefits can even be available to disabled individuals who were high earners prior to their disability.
You Could Be Eligible for Private Disability Benefits Depending Upon Your Situation
In some cases, people who are disabled are eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits, and they are also eligible to receive private disability benefits through an employer. It is important to know that private disability benefits do not have anything to do with the Social Security Administration, and they are not based on the eligibility criteria we have discussed above. Rather, your employer may have been contributing to a long-term disability benefit plan for you in the event of a disability, or you may have become eligible for this type of coverage through your employment.
For many people who are eligible for these kinds of disability benefits, it is easier to prove your eligibility — and often to receive payments more quickly — than it is to receive benefits through the Social Security Administration. Many employer-sponsored disability benefits do not require you to have a disabling condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or to result in death, which means you could be eligible for private benefits even if you are not eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Attorney for Assistance
The experienced national disability benefits attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz can assess your circumstances today to help you determine what type of benefits you may be eligible to receive, and we can help you with your application.