Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are federal programs providing income to disabled individuals. Although both programs sound very similar in name, there are key differences that people should know.
SSI helps disabled children and adults who have low incomes and need help paying for their shelter and food. Individuals aged 65 and older who don’t have disabilities may participate in the SSI program. To qualify for SSI, the applicant must begin an application online and speak with a social security representative to schedule an appointment.
SSDI is an entitlement program. It is not a needs-based program and is only for individuals who have paid into Social Security for at least ten years. Program payments are based on the amount of an applicant’s lifetime earnings before being disabled. They are not based on the degree or severity of a disability.
Not everyone who applies for SSDI qualifies. The process is complicated, and having the assistance of an experienced SSDI attorney from the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield makes a difference in your chances of securing benefits.
What is SSDI?
SSDI is paid to individuals unable to work due to a medical condition expected to last at least a year or result in death. Social security disability insurance does not pay benefits to those with partial or short-term disabilities.
To meet SSDI requirements, the individual applying must have a minimum of six quarters of coverage. The following are only estimates, and the numbers do not cover all possible situations:
- If you become disabled before 28, you would need one and a half years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before 30, you would need two years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 34, you need three years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 38, you need four years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before 42, you would need five and a half years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before the of 44, you would need one and half years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 46, you need six years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 48, you would need six and a half years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 50, you must have seven years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before 52, you would need seven and a half years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 54, you need eight years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 56, you would need eight and a half years of work to qualify.
- If you become disabled before age 58, you need nine years of work to prepare.
- If you become disabled before 60, you need nine and a half years of work to qualify.
You may apply for disability benefits online or by calling a toll-free number – 1-800-772-1213. Claim interviews can typically last for an hour. You will receive a Disability Starter Kit to help you prepare for your appointment. You can apply for the Kit online at: www.ssa.gov/disability. An attorney or another qualified individual may represent you.
A few tips to remember:
- Apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled, as it takes up to five months to process.
- To apply, you must fill out an application for benefits. You can apply online at: www.ssa.gov/applyfordisability.
You need the following information to help process your application quickly:
- Your Social Security number;
- A baptismal or birth certificate;
- All contact information for every doctor, hospital, caseworker, or clinic you visited for treatment;
- The dates, names of all medications you take, and the doses;
- Your medical records from all healthcare professionals you worked with;
- Lab and other test results;
- A summary of your work, where you worked, and the type of work you performed; and
- A copy of the most recent W-2 Form or a federal tax return for the past year should you be self-employed.
A representative may request additional forms if more information on your medical condition and how it affects your work is needed. The quicker the medical data and forms are submitted, there may be a good chance that your benefits can start soon.
What is SSI?
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Children or adults who are disabled or blind can receive monthly payments. The payments help pay for resources and income amounts under a certain threshold. Adults over sixty-five and who do not have disabilities can also apply.
General tax revenues fund SSI. It offers monthly payments to meet basic needs for shelter, food, and clothing. Each applicant may receive a different level of funding depending on income and living situation.
Part of the payment varies is that some states add funding to the federal SSI payment. A person may receive less if they have other sources of income, such as SSDI, pensions, and wages. If an applicant lives with a spouse who receives an income or if someone pays for their household expenses, they may receive a smaller payment. Couples can receive SSI if their resources are worth $3,000 or less, and individuals may receive $2,000.
Who may apply:
- U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and some noncitizens;
- Those who live in one of the states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
- Those with limited incomes (wages, pensions);
- Those with limited resources (items owned); and
- People aged 65, disabled, or blind.
There is an exception to who may apply. Children of parents in the Armed Forces under permanent duty outside the U.S. and students living abroad short-term may receive SSI payments.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield For Help With Your Claim
The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. represents social security disability claims from Northwest Arkansas, including Fort Smith, Rogers, Springdale, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Berryville, and Harrison. Call us today for your free consultation at (479) 361-3575.