If you become disabled and are unable to earn a sufficient living to support yourself, you may be able to qualify for monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits can be difficult to obtain, however, and the system can be confusing. If you have any questions about your eligibility for benefits or need help applying, you should discuss your situation with a Social Security Disability lawyer as soon as possible. In the meantime, the following are some of the basics of these benefits.
Types of Benefits
There are two different types of benefits for which you may qualify if you have a disability that prevents you from working, which are as follows:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – If you have worked for some time and have contributed to Social Security from your paychecks, you may qualify for SSDI if you suddenly become disabled.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – If you have not contributed to Social Security or even if you have never worked, you may qualify for SSI if you are disabled and if you demonstrate your financial need. For example, your income and assets must stay below a certain amount to receive SSI.
Requirements for Eligibility
The first and foremost requirement for either type of disability benefits is that you are determined to be disabled under the definition used by the SSA. Specifically, the SSA has a list of impairments that will qualify you as disabled. However, even if you do not meet the exact definition of any of the impairments listed by the SSA, you can still apply for benefits if you prove that your individual impairments prevent you from earning enough income.
This does not only mean that you are unable to perform at your previous job. Instead, the SSA will consider whether there are any other types of jobs you can perform with your disability while considering your education, skill, and experience levels. If the SSA believes you can earn a living in any type of job, you may have your application denied.
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Applying for SSI or SSDI benefits can be complicated, as can be appealing a denial of benefits. If you are disabled and want information on obtaining benefits, you should contact a New Jersey attorney at Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C. as soon as possible. We will help you through the process and protect your rights to the benefits you deserve.