Social Security Disability (SSD) v. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
There are two types of disability programs through the Social Security Administration. The first is called Social Security Disability (SSD). SSD is a program authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act. This program is intended to provide benefits to persons (including their spouses and dependants) who worked, paid into the system and are now disabled. If you have worked and paid taxes for at least five out of the last ten years (generally speaking), you could apply for this benefit.
The second type of benefit is called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSI program is authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. This is a federal welfare benefit that does not have any work requirements. However, you must have very limited assets and income to qualify for this disability benefit. As of 2014, the financial resource limit for an individual to qualify for this benefit is $2,000.00. For a couple, this limit is $3,000.00. There are other, specific asset requirements such as in 2014, the highest SSI payment a person can receive is $721.00 per month per person or $1082.00 per month per couple. These amounts are adjusted annually based on the cost of living and vary from these amounts if you are blind. Some states provide a supplement to this benefit.
Both benefits have the same medical requirements when determining disability. These requirements essentially state that a person must have either physical, mental or a combination of both types of impairments that render them unable to do any form of substantial gainful activity (work) existing in the national economy. For more on this, call our office to request acopy of our free book!
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