People who suffer from various disabilities have two federal programs that they can rely on when looking into ways of supporting themselves without further aggravating their condition.
As such, we have the Supplemental Security Income and Security Disability Insurance programs. The two are affected strictly by federal laws – local and state laws do not apply to them.
But how can one know when and if the law allows them to apply for such programs? Well, besides contacting a reputed social security disability law firm, there are a couple of basics that have to be taken into account. A law firm will help you make sure what you are eligible for, as well as enforce the laws on your behalf if your rights are not considered.
Disability Benefits – Basic Guidelines
The laws that govern the two disability programs mentioned above can be found in the United States Code, Title 42. They also appear in the SSA – Social Security Administration – terms and regulations.
They state that:
- Adults that were unable to work for at least one year after having become disabled can enjoy and apply for SSDI benefits.
- In terms of benefits, they are available only to payroll taxpayers that are not yet retired.
- SSDI benefits can extend to dependents of people that receive said benefits.
- SSI, on the other hand, is specially designed for people that have little to no income and suffer from a disability.
- SSI benefits are available to people regardless of whether they were payroll taxpayers or not.
Disability Benefits – Requirements
These were the basics of SSDI and SSI, which outline the main differences that have to be considered when applying for any of them.
When it comes to SSDI, something known as work credits are taken into account to determine if a person is eligible for this program. Work credits are obtained by people while they are employed and are proportional with their earnings. In the case of a disability, these credits amount to SSDI benefits.
SSDI benefit eligibility is taken into consideration only if the applicant can be labeled as disabled. SAA defines disabled people as people who cannot work or pursue work in their field or in another field due to severe medical impairment.
SSI benefit eligibility takes into account the person’s income level. Those applying for SSI are considered only if they are subject to an income level below the federal benefit rate.
It is worth mentioning the various services that the applicant may receive for free will be included in the federal benefit rate. This means that free meals or free rent will still be accounted for as income.
The Bottom Line
These programs were put in place to help people who experience work accidents and many others that interfere with their ability to support themselves and their close ones.
Such programs are also a safety net for people that work in dangerous industries, especially given the amount of awarded benefits. This is also the main reason why the laws governing SSDI/SSI are rather strict.
As such, besides checking the information posted above, you should also contact a professional lawyer or law firm that can answer all your questions and even help you file an SSI/SSDI claim!