Seeking Social Security Disability Benefits in the New Year
While accidents, injuries, and serious and debilitating illnesses do not occur on any kind of anticipated timeline, the new year is often a time for many people to think about their current state of affairs and their ability to improve their lives. For many adults across the country, this means considering the possibility of disability benefits.
Are you eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits? Here is some general information about eligibility that can help you to learn more about your options. If you believe you could be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you should get in touch with a national disability benefits attorney as soon as possible to get started on your application.
Disability Requirements for Both SSDI and SSI Benefits
You should know, first, that SSDI and SSI benefits have similar letters and might sound alike, but they are two separate types of benefits. However, they both require that a recipient prove that they have a disability based on the definition that the SSA uses. Thus, to receive either SSDI or SSI benefits, you will need to meet this definition of a disability cited by the SSA:
“You must not be able to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) that is either expected to result in death [or] has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.”
You will need to provide medical evidence that proves the above definition. To be clear, even if you feel you are physically disabled or your physician describes your condition as a disability, it will not be a disability for SSDI or SSI benefits unless it meets that definition cited by the SSA.
Work History Requirement for SSDI Benefits
To be eligible for SSDI benefits, you will need to meet work history requirements in addition to the disability requirement discussed above. You will need to have worked for a long enough period of time, and enough hours per year, to have earned enough “credits” to qualify for SSDI. There are exceptions for disabled adults who are younger and have not worked for enough years to qualify.
Then, your monthly payment is based on your wages while you were working. To be clear, your SSDI eligibility is not determined by the amount of money you earned while working or the current value of your assets. Whether you have no assets and earned a limited income or have substantial assets and earned a high income, you can qualify for SSDI benefits.
Limited Income or Asset Requirement for SSI Benefits
To be eligible for SSI benefits, you will need to meet the definition of a disability discussed above and you will need to show that you have limited resources and assets that qualify you. Unlike SSDI payments, SSI payments are intended for disabled people with limited resources.
When a person has limited resources and has enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, they may be eligible for both SSDI and SSI payments.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Lawyer for Help with Your Case
One of the experienced St. Petersburg bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your circumstances and to find out more about your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.