In general, there are two types of disability benefits for which one may apply. The first is Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) and the second is Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI). While there are major differences in determining one’s eligibility for either type of benefits, the commonality between the two is that the individual still has to be found “disabled” despite meeting all other eligibility requirements for the benefits. I often get asked if one can qualify for “partial disability,” but such a program is not available through Social Security. DIB is also not a short-term disability program. To be eligible for disability, one must have a condition or multiple conditions that has or is expected to keep them from working for 12 months or more, or result in death.
DIB is based on one’s work history and 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. SSI benefits are paid to those individuals who are found to be disabled and who have limited resources. As I generally explain it, it is a needs-based program. There are income and/or resource limits that can disqualify one from being eligible for SSI. The limit for individuals is $2,000 and is $3,000 for couples. Resources and income include, but are not limited to, income earned from working, free food and shelter, and vehicles.
If you have questions regarding your eligibility for Social Security benefits, our firm stands ready to serve your needs and answer your questions at any point throughout the application and appeals process. We work effectively and efficiently to secure the benefits to which you are entitled in an increasingly difficult and delayed system.