A poll done several years ago showed that almost 60% of American workers had no idea that they have disability insurance in case of a prolonged inability to work due to a physical or mental condition.
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
Social Security Disability Insurance 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.
Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program. A portion of the FICA taxes you pay are set aside for SSDI (as well as Social Security Retirement and Medicare). SSDI, which was established in 1954, is designed to provide you with income if you are unable to work due to a disability or until your condition improves, and guarantees income if your condition does not improve. Then once you meet your retirement age – 65 or older – you move from SSDI to Social Security retirement income.
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability is different than other programs you may come into contact with through your employer or private insurance. The SSA pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.
Eligibility for SSDI is based on your inability to work. You are generally considered disabled by the SSA if:
- You cannot do work that you did previously;
- It is determined that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
According to the SSA, studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.
Call and Snow and Carpio, and Weekley for a free consultation if you believe that you may be entitled to SSD. Our social security disability attorneys are experienced in handling your case.