When you find yourself disabled and unable to work there are two government programs available to provide for you and your family.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Typically you have had to have worked at least 5 out of the last ten years.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits based on financial need without regard for how much you may have paid into the system. SSI disability pays an average of 536 per month per individual. The maximum is set at 771.00 dollars in 2019, but social security will make deductions.
In order to qualify for SSI benefits you must must demonstrate a need, by having limited assets and financial resources including:
- No more than 2K in the bank
- Only one vehicle in your name
Typically your earned income cannot be higher than 1433.00 per month for a single and 2016.00 for a married couple. Things like food stamps and sheltered provided by a NPO do not count. In order to receive compensation from either program however you must prove that you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or can be expected to result in your death.
The determination of disability is based in large part on your medical records and your testimony at a potential hearing. It is important that an experienced social security attorney provide your treating doctors with forms and questionnaires specific to your individual injuries to maximize your chance at a favorable outcome. Additionally it is important an experienced attorney represents you at your hearing in order for the judge to get the full picture of disabling impairments preventing you from returning to the workforce.