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Who Can Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Being disabled to the point where you are unable to support yourself can be quite devastating, leaving you with many questions and wondering if you can get help. Fortunately, in the United States, we have a system in place to help people who have been rendered unable to work by supporting them financially. These two programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is an earned benefit, while SSI is a means-tested program that you can qualify for.

How To Qualify For SSDI Benefits

SSDI is an earned benefit program, meaning that you have to have worked a certain amount in your life in order to qualify for it. It is calculated on a work credit basis, where you can earn up to four credits per year based on how much you worked. In order to collect benefits, you need to have accumulated at least 40 credits over your lifetime, with at least 20 of those credits having been accrued in the last ten years. These credits must also be in a job that is covered by SSDI.

This is the baseline to be eligible to apply for SSDI. You also need to be medically disabled such that you are unable to perform your previous work or other type of work. This is a very fact-specific analysis and oftentimes is where an attorney is necessary to help you prove your claim. Many people have their applications denied because they have not established their disability sufficiently to prove they cannot complete other types of work.

How To Qualify For SSI Benefits

SSI benefits are available to anyone, whether or not you have worked enough credits under SSDI. It is means-tested, because it looks at your assets and income to determine if you are eligible to receive benefits. For 2024, the limit is no more income than $1971 a month, and total assets less than $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. Some income is exempt from these considerations, such as government housing or nutrition assistance, as well as certain assets, such as your home, personal belongings, clothes and a single vehicle.

SSI follows the same considerations as SSDI for determining whether you are unable to work because of your disability. Some people can qualify for both programs and file them at the same time.

Call Our Office To Learn How We Can Help

We understand that it can be difficult to talk about your disability, but we are here to help you without any judgment. At The Law Offices of Steven Gaechter, we offer free, no-obligation consultations where you can discuss your conditions and learn if you have a case. You also will work directly with your attorney who will handle your case at every step of the way, speaking to you directly.

We also do not charge an up-front fee for our Social Security cases, so you will not pay out of pocket if you work with us, only if you win your claim. You can call us at 201-546-5758 or send us a message through our contact form to get started today.