Your Guide to Finding the Right Type of Disability Benefits

Kreg Bale
Kreg Bale May 22, 2022
Updated 2022/05/22 at 7:38 AM
Your Guide to Finding the Right Type of Disability Benefits

Did you know that about 8.2 million people receive some form of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA)?

You may wonder whether you are eligible for Social Security benefits. These include disability assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). They also include retirement benefits if you are approaching retirement age or have just been wounded or handicapped.

Do you qualify for a type of disability benefits?

If you’re confused about whether you should bother submitting a social security disability claim, no worries. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the umbrella of social security disabilities and their benefits.

Type of Disability Benefits 101: SSDI vs. SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two forms of disability payments. Both are offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two unique groups served by the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.

Eligibility is the key distinction between the two programs. The SSDI program is only available to those who have contributed to the system through taxable income.

SSI, on the other hand, acts as a safety net for people who do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and have limited resources.

Persons who are no longer able to work because of a physical or mental handicap are eligible for SSDI. While low-income individuals are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): What Is It?

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is a federally funded source of income.

People who are unable to work for a year or more because of a handicap, on average, get payments from the SSA. Those who qualify get monthly payments.

You must have paid into the program and accrued enough credits to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To get credit, you must have previous employment.

The SSA’s medical standards and an application procedure are used to assess eligibility for SSDI.

How SSDI Works

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit for those who can’t work because of a disability. Candidates must fulfill a specific definition of disability. They must be terminally ill or have a prognosis of death within the next year in order to be eligible.

Full disability and long-term disability are not covered by SSDI.

A portion of the money used to pay for SSDI comes from a tax on employers’ net income. Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) contributions are computed as a percentage of employment income.

Then, they’re withheld from all workers’ paychecks. Or, they’re paid by self-employed persons on their net earnings under the Self-Employed Contributions Act (SECA).

As a result, SSDI eligibility is also dependent on prior work history. And, the benefit amount is determined by the average annual wage in Social Security-covered employment. It accumulates during the recipient’s lifetime.

Qualifying for SSDI

As a general rule, in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you must meet the following criteria.

  • It is impossible for you to work or do any other kind of Significant Gainful Activity (SGA) because of your current medical condition
  • You are no longer able to undertake the sort of employment you were previously able to accomplish
  • Your illness has lasted or will last at least 12 months, if not longer, or will cause your death

Keep in mind that people who are blind, widows or widowers of employees, children with impairments, or veterans have distinct qualifying requirements.

Using these five questions as a guide, the state agency makes a decision in accordance with the above. Of course, if you’re worried about the whole application process, you can learn about social security disability attorneys here.

Are You Working?

If you say yes, and if your average monthly income is over a specific amount, you will not be classified as disabled. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is another name for this quantity, which fluctuates every year.

If not, or if your earnings fall below the SGA cutoff, the agency will proceed to the second stage of the review process.

If So, How Bad Is Your Condition?

You must be unable to do fundamental employment tasks for at least 12 months to qualify as disabled. This is according to the Social Security Administration’s criteria.

Walking, sitting, standing, lifting, and remembering are all examples of these activities. If you don’t, you won’t qualify as disabled. Under these criteria, if your condition is judged serious, the agency advances to step three of the review process.

Is Your Medical Condition “Severe”?

There are lists of medical illnesses developed by medical professionals. The severity of these problems is such that they make it impossible for an individual to perform their job duties.

This list is used by the state to assess whether you have a disability. They compare your condition to a listing and its criteria and determine if you are eligible for disability benefits. Otherwise, the state moves on to step four of the assessment.

Does Your Medical Condition Meet or Medically Equal a Listing?

In this part of the assessment, it is determined whether or not you can go on with any of your previous jobs because of your current medical condition.

Unless your medical condition prevents you from receiving SSDI, the state will rule that you do not have a disability. If your medical condition prevents you from doing the things you used to perform at work, the assessment continues to the fifth level.

Can You Do the Work You Did Before?

In the third part of the review, the state looks at your age and education. Also, there’s your previous job experience, and talents to see whether you can do different sorts of employment.

They’ll deny you SSDI if they determine that you’re capable of doing other employment. As long as they determine that you are unable to do any other employment, you will qualify for disability benefits.

Types of Disabilities and Their Benefits: Explained

We know how stressful it can be to think about whether you qual type of disability benefits or not. Hopefully, our guide has shed some light on your options.

If you’re still shaky about the details, you should check out our insurance and legal sections for more tips and explainers that can help you unpack complex plans and policies.

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