The federal government has programs to help disabled persons, including the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
Types of Benefits
- SSDI pays benefits if you are an “insured” person and you become disabled. An “insured” person includes someone who has worked for a certain period of time and has paid Social Security taxes. A “disabled” person is someone who has an injury, disease or other medical condition that falls within the guidelines established by the Social Security Administration If you qualify for SSDI benefits, other family members, including your spouse and your children, may be entitled to benefits as well.
- SSI pays benefits to disabled persons according to their financial need. SSI payments are based on the same “disability” standards used for SSDI benefits. Some states supplement the money offered by the SSI program.
Social Security programs cover long-term disabilities. Your disability must be total, meaning you cannot work full time. Social Security does not pay benefits for partial disabilities.
Applicants seeking SSDI or SSI benefits apply to the Social Security Administration (SSA). They must establish why they are disabled and why they are an “insured” wage earner entitled to SSDI or entitled to SSI because of financial need.
Numerous medical conditions and injuries can make someone physically disabled, creating the right to SSDI or SSI benefits. Certain emotional problems are also considered disabilities that make the victim eligible for benefits.
Monthly Payments for Successful Applicants
Successful applicants receive monthly payments from the Social Security Administration. Persons entitled to SSDI benefits may receive payment for past benefits for up to one year before a claim was filed.
Once SSDI or SSI benefits are applied for, the Social Security Administration sends applications to state agencies, where claims are reviewed and a disability decision is reported back to the SSA. Claimants whose benefits are initially denied can appeal that decision.