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Regardless of your age, if you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may be able recover benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two main benefit programs you can apply for, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If your application for either of these benefits programs is denied, talk to a qualified Social Security Disability benefits attorney who can help you appeal and obtain the financial assistance you are entitled to.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a qualifying disability and also have worked for long enough that you built up sufficient “work credits” with Social Security. The exact number of credits will vary depending on your age and when you became disabled. You need 20 work credits within 10 years prior to suffering your disability. Generally speaking, this translates to having worked five out of the last 10 years. If you suffered a disability before you turned 31, you don’t need as many work credits.
If your SSDI application is approved, your benefits will include cash payments in the amount that has been determined, based on your earnings and your age. On average, monthly payments range from $500 to $2,000. Once you have collected disability benefits for two years, you will qualify for Medicare (regardless of age). If your income is low for those 24 months, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSI program is a joint venture between your state government and the Social Security Administration. This means that your eligibility and the amount of benefits you are paid will depend on the statues in your particular state. To qualify for SSI benefits on a federal level you must be:
- Disabled, blind or over the age of 65
- A U.S citizen or refugee
- Have low monthly income (typically between $500 and $700 per month or $750 for a couple – but some states permit a higher income)
- You have limited assets (worth less $2,000 or $3,000 for a couple)
- Disabled children under age 18 can also qualify
If your SSI application is approved, your SSI benefits will include cash payments, starting at $698 for an individual and $1,048 per couple (as of 2012). Your state may then supplement that amount, depending on your cost of living compared to the rest of the nation.
There are two other, more specific programs that you may qualify for:
Social Security Disability Widow(er) Benefits: this may apply if you are a widow or widower between ages 50 and 60, and were married (at least 10 years) to your spouse who was insured by social security at the time of their death. The disability must have been severe enough to prevent your spouse from working within seven years of the date they passed.
Social Security Disability Adult Child Benefits (DAC): If you are a child who is at least 19 years old, and you became disabled before you reached 22, you may qualify. Children of deceased parents who were insured for social security benefits may also qualify for DAC benefits.
If you live in California and are looking for a disability benefits attorney, please contact the qualified Social Security Disability benefit attorneys at Law Offices of Fred J. Fleming to learn more about our services.