A disabling medical condition that prevents a person from working and earning a living is more common than you may imagine. According to data compiled by the federal government, more than 13.3 million people currently receive Social Security disability benefits, and a 20-year-old has a 25% chance of a disability cutting their time in the workplace short before reaching full retirement.
Two federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration pay benefits to people who are unable to work because of being blind or disabled. If you qualify to receive benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs, you need to know about your rights and responsibilities under each one of them.
A consultation with a Social Security disability lawyer at London Eligibility offers access to trusted advice and skilled representation. The following information about SSI and SSDI offers insight into the programs that you may wish to explore further with your SSD lawyer.
Who is eligible for SSD benefits?
Social Security must follow a strict definition of disability as established by federal law. The definition used for adults applying for benefits through SSI and SSDI requires a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. The impairment or impairments must be expected to last or have lasted for at least one year or be expected to cause death.
A different definition of disability is used for a child applying for benefits through the SSI program. Speak with an SSI lawyer for more information about the definitions and how they affect eligibility in your particular situation.
How do the SSDI and SSI programs differ?
SSI is a need-based program, which means that you must meet strict income and resource limits in order to qualify. It pays benefits to disabled or blind adults and children or to non-disabled or blind adults who are at least 65 years of age who meet the financial limitations. You do not need a work history in order to qualify for SSI benefits.
SSDI, which does not have income or resource limitations as does SSI, requires that its applicants have an earnings record showing they paid Social Security taxes on income earned working at a job or through self-employment. How long you need to have worked depends upon your age at the onset of the disability. Someone with a disability that began at 24 years of age would need a shorter work record than if they became disabled at 40.
How benefits are calculated is another difference between SSDI and SSI. The monthly federal benefit paid through SSI for 2022 is $841 for an individual and $1,261for a married couple where both spouses qualify for benefits.
Benefits payable through SSDI depend on your lifetime earnings. Social Security uses your lifetime earnings as part of a complex formula to determine the amount it pays to you each month. An SSDI lawyer at London Eligibility can review your benefits to ensure that the amount you receive each month accurately reflects your earnings record.
When do monthly benefit payments begin?
Monthly SSI benefit payments begin immediately after your application has been approved, but the same cannot be said about SSDI benefits. As a general rule, you must be disabled for five months before the start of monthly SSDI payments. A waiting period does not apply under any of the following conditions:
1). Your disability is the result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.
2). You applied for reinstatement of SSDI benefits.
3). For benefits payable to dependents of a disabled worker.
SSI payments continue for as long as you remain disabled or blind and meet the income and resource limitations of the program. SSDI payments automatically convert to Social Security retirement benefits once you reach full retirement age based on the year of your birth. For more information about your monthly benefit payments, talk to your SSD lawyer.
Does Social Security periodically review my eligibility?
Medical conditions may improve over time, so Social Security periodically conducts a review to determine if you remain disabled and eligible for a continuation of SSDI or SSI benefits. Generally, you can anticipate having your medical condition reviewed once every three years, but the time between reviews can be from five to seven years when you have a medical condition that is not expected to improve over time.
Social Security uses a different definition for the disability of a child than it does for adults. As a result, children receiving SSI are subject to a case review two months before they reach 18 years of age. During this review, continuing eligibility for SSI benefits will be determined based on whether or not the individual meets the requirements of the adult definition for “disabled.”
Get trusted guidance and representation from an SSD lawyer
When you need advice and representation you can depend upon, contact London Eligibility. Contact us today for a free consultation with our Social Security disability lawyer.