Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are benefits programs that differ in:
- The way that they are funded, as SSDI is funded through Social Security while SSI is sustained through general revenues collected by the Treasury Department, according to AARP
- How an applicant qualifies for them, as SSDI benefits may be dependent on your amount of time in the workforce because it is considered an “earned benefit”
Despite these differences, there may be several points of overlap in who qualifies for benefits from both SSI and SSDI.
Qualifications for SSDI and SSI Are Different
There are strict guidelines for who can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, and the guidelines for each program contain a few similarities.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may qualify for SSDI if:
- You have a documentable medical condition that has prevented you from working for at least one year and may be the most likely cause of your mortality
- You are 18 years of age or older
- You have not been denied for disability benefits in the previous 60 days
In order to be an eligible applicant for Supplemental Security Income, you must:
- Be between 18 and 65 years of age
- Have never been married
- Be a U.S. citizen who currently lives in the United States
- Have not already applied for SSI benefits
While disability benefits provided by SSDI appear intended to help a variety of disabled former members of the workforce, the SSA’s description of SSI states that the program “is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people … cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.”
You may qualify for benefits under both SSDI and SSI, depending on your circumstances.
Conditions Which May Be Covered Under SSDI and SSI
The Social Security Administration lists several conditions that may be covered under either SSDI, SSI, or both, contingent on other aspects of the benefits evaluation process. Some of the conditions that the SSA site lists include:
- Certain forms of cancer
- Certain disorders affecting the skin
- Disorders that affect the immune system
- Hematological disorders
- Health issues impacting the cardiovascular system
- Digestive system disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Conditions that impact speech and special senses, including blindness
Other health conditions may also qualify you to receive benefits under SSDI, SSI, or both.
In addition to the name of your specific disorder, you may be asked to submit information regarding:
- Your age
- The number of years you were working before becoming disabled, if you have worked
- The nature and severity of your medical condition
- The last time that you worked
- Copies of employment forms or federal tax returns if you were self-employed
- Whether you have any dependents
You may be requested to provide documentation for several critical pieces of information, including but not limited to your medical condition and work history. The application process for disability benefits may be complex and arduous, especially if you are attempting to complete it on your own.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
A Lawyer May Apply for Benefits on Your Behalf
The Social Security Administration grants you the right to name a representative who can handle several benefits-related tasks on your behalf. You may choose an attorney to serve this representative role, and you may do so because:
- A lawyer may have completed the process before
- A lawyer may be comfortable with wordy, dense filing processes
- A lawyer may have the time and resources to complete the application process in a thorough and accurate manner
Some of the more specific services that a lawyer may provide include:
- Accessing your Social Security file to find out where you are in the filing process
- Obtaining the medical documentation that is required to prove your medical condition
- Accompanying you to and representing you in any hearings that are required to complete the application or appeals process
- Requesting any appeals, motions, and hearings that are necessary if your initial claim is denied
- Providing general information and advice about the benefits application process
According to research published by the SSA, the majority of applicants for disability benefits have their request denied, at least initially. A lawyer may help you ensure that the paperwork you send into the SSA is complete and accurate, which is a good start in attempting to obtain the benefits that you are hoping for.
Call Our Team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Today
We want to assist you in seeking benefits for:
- Food and other essential necessities
- Other costs that you are facing
One means of seeking disability benefits is through SSDI, SSI, or both. We may be able to assist you in applying for benefits through these programs. If you would like to learn more about our services, call our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, today at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation.