If you find that you have a disability that prevents you from working, you have options. The Social Security Administration provides two disability benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
About the SSDI Program
The SSDI program is for those that have worked for a specified period of time, but you now have a disability that prevents you from working. The number of "working years" required depends on your age and whether you are blind. The Social Security Administration pays benefits to people who have a disability that has or will last for at least one year or will result in death.
About the SSI Program
The SSI program has NO prior work requirement. However, the SSI program is for people who have low income and few resources (like cash, bank accounts, investments, property, etc.). The total amount of available resources must be less than $2000 if you are unmarried, or $3000 if you are a couple. The Social Security Administration does not count things like: the home and land where you currently live; life insurance policies worth less than $1500; one car; and funds related to burial plots or insurance. Many other things you own will be counted toward the limit of $2000 or $3000. In addition to the limit on income and resources, you must also fall into one of the following categories:
- age 65 or over;
- or disabled.
If you have a disability and have low income and few resources, you may qualify for SSI benefits. We recommend that you review the resources that Social Security will count towards the limitations on resources at https://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/text-resources-ussi.htm.
If you have already applied for SSDI or SSI and were denied, you are not alone. Many people are initially denied, but you have options! It’s not easy to qualify disability benefits, but we can help. We would be happy to review your case and help you with the next step. Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions you may have.
Written By: Carla Lopera, Esq.