What Disability Benefits Can I Receive?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the largest federal benefits programs through which people with disabilities can receive financial assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both programs. A disability benefits attorney can help individuals navigate the application process and determine which benefits they qualify for.
Social Security Disability Insurance
People with disabilities and certain members of their families can receive SSDI benefits. To be eligible for the benefits, people must have earned enough Social Security work credits through their own employment history or that of a family member.
Supplemental Security Income
The program pays disabled people with limited income and resources. It provides cash to help them meet their basic needs for shelter, food and clothing.
Eligibility for SSDI and SSI Benefits
Although SSDI and SSI programs are different in several ways, they both require beneficiaries to have a disabling medical condition and meet specific medical criteria. When people apply for the programs, the SSA collects medical and nonmedical information for use in deciding whether the applicants meet the agency’s definition of disability.
Both SSDI and SSI beneficiaries can work while still receiving benefits.
A person can use the SSA’s Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) to find out the programs that he or she may qualify for to receive benefits. He or she will need to take 5 to 10 minutes answering some questions to find out if he or she is eligible for any benefits. A disability benefits attorney can also provide a free disability benefits evaluation.
What if One Has Been Denied Benefits?
An applicant can be denied benefits for medical or non-medical reasons.
Denied for Medical Reasons
If denied for medical reasons, a person can request an appeal using the online Disability Appeal application. One can also use the application to send updated or new medical information that came after the SSA made its decision.
If a person does not want to appeal the denial of his or her application for SSDI or SSI benefits online, the applicant can request the necessary forms online from the SSA Forms Page and print them. After printing and completing the forms, the person should mail them to the local Social Security office.
Denied for Non-Medical Reasons
If a person’s disability benefits are denied for nonmedical reasons, he or she should contact his or her local Social Security office to ask for a review. People can increase their chances of winning their appeals by working with disability benefits attorneys.