To be considered disabled under Social Security regulations, you must be unable to conduct "substantial gainful work" due to your medical condition. Additionally, your medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 consecutive months or be likely to result in death. However, before you file for Social Security benefits, it is important to look into which program you qualify for: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In some cases, you might be eligible for both programs.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI benefits are available for disabled people who have worked in the past. They are not a form of welfare. Rather, SSDI is a program that workers buy into with taxes taken from their paychecks. Regardless of your financial situation, you are eligible for SSDI if you have the necessary number of work credits.
Supplemental Security Income
SSI benefits are intended for people with low incomes, few resources, and disabilities. To qualify for SSI, you do not need to show that you’ve worked in the past. Instead, you must establish that you have a meager income and few assets. SSI also pays benefits to individuals over the age of 65 who do not qualify for retirement or spousal benefits. However, unlike SSDI, your spouse’s income matters when you apply for SSI benefits.
What If My Claim Is Denied?
If your SSDI or SSI claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. Although you can represent yourself during the appeals process, it is recommended that you first consult with an experienced attorney. At the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr., we understand the devastating effects that a serious injury or medical condition can have on your life. Our firm is familiar with both SSDI and SSI law and we are ready to help fight for your rights! You should never have to suffer financially if you are unable to return to work because of an injury or disability.
Call (508) 926-8833 today, or contact our Worcester Social Security disability attorney for your free case evaluation.