Understanding Social Security Disability


Are you confused about Social Security disability? Well join the club. The following is an easy guide that will help explain the Social Security Disability Programs. In a nutshell:

There Are Two Federal Social Security Programs Available for the Disabled

Relief for individuals with disabilities is available through the Social Security Administration. Currently, there are two potential programs for the disabled from which to choose. One such program is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the other is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These two programs are the largest of several federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities.

What Are the Differences Between SSDI and SSI?

While both benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration, the resemblance ends there. SSDI is a benefit that is paid for by the individual through payroll deductions. You must have had an income from some type of employment before this benefit is available to you, whereas SSI is available to disabled individuals who have had little, or no income.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI will pay you, and members of your family, disability benefits, from monies that have been collected from your “employed” income. Family members, specifically, adult children may also qualify for benefits under this program, on your earnings if he or she has a disability that developed prior to turning 22 years of age.
It is believed that one in four of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled at some point, before reaching the age of 67. When we are young, our total attention is focused on succeeding in our chosen jobs and careers, very few of us think about ensuring that we have a “safety net” to fall back on should we become disabled. This is where Social Security may come into play.
If you qualify for SSDI, your benefits will usually continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis, or until you reach retirement age. There are also a number of special rules, called “work incentives,” that provide continued benefits and health care coverage to help you make the transition back to work.
If you are receiving Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits when you reach full retirement age (currently age 66 for people born between 1943-1954; this age limit will gradually rise to 67 for those born in 1960 or later), your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.
In the event you find yourself needing to apply for your SSDI benefits, or have been declined and need to file an appeal, consult with your attorney concerning your eligibility, and the application and appeals process.

Supplemental Security (SSI)

SSI pays benefits to individuals based on financial need, alone. This program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources, without regards to work history. SSI benefits are also payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits.
This program is a federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes):

  • It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and
  • It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Reach Out to an Experienced Attorney

If you find yourself in a position, and may need to apply for one of these disability programs, no matter whether you are just beginning to consider applying for Social Security disability insurance or if you need assistance in filing your first appeal, it is time to contact attorney J. Robert Surface. Having the benefit of an experienced Social Security disability attorney on your side during this time of physical, emotional and financial stress is invaluable.