How You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits

For those who have recently become disabled, finding out how you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits can become a pressing matter. SSDI benefits are designed to help those that qualify to pay for their everyday expenses and household bills. In many cases, Social Security Disability Benefits can make all the difference on making ends meet for those who are disabled for a year or more.

“Disability” Defined

The Social Security Disability Administration defines “disability” as an injury or condition that:

  • Prevents you from performing work required by your current profession
  • You cannot successfully adjust to other types of work because of your condition
  • Your disability will last at least one year or will result in death

Work History

The first qualification depends on whether or not you have ever had a job in which you paid into SSDI. Each pay period, your check stub will state your deductions and how much of your pay was deducted for SSDI. The percentage deducted is referred to as SSDI credits. For each $1200 you earn each year, you are given one credit toward SSDI. The law states that in order to qualify for SSDI, you must have 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the last 10 years. The number of credits is subject to change depending on the age of the applicant.  If you do not meet the above criteria, you may still qualify for benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. [Read more…]

Increase In Social Security Disability Benefits For 2014

Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a cost of living adjustment of 1.5% for 2014.  As a result, monthly benefits for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will rise next year.

With the increase, the maximum federal benefit for an individual receiving SSI will rise from $710 per month to $721. The benefit for a couple on SSI will grow from $1,066 per month to $1,082. Many states add to SSI benefits for their residents meaning that actual payments could exceed these caps.  Massachusetts is one of the States that adds a supplemental benefit.

Qualifying For SSI and SSDI Disability

If you are disabled and can’t work, there are numerous programs and assistance to help you.  Two of those programs at the federal level are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Although there are several differences between the SSI and SSDI disability programs, there is one similarity.  The definition of disability is the same and medical disability is assessed the same way under both programs.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the disability program for those individuals that have not worked or have not worked enough recently to be insured for benefits. It pays monthly cash benefits to people who are age 65 or older, those who are blind, or those who have a disability and have $2,000 or less in assets and have no or limited income. Both adults and children can apply for SSI.

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