Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
To determine whether you qualify for SSI, SSDI, or both, you must meet the eligibility requirements. To qualify for SSDI, you must have an earnings record, meaning you have accumulated enough credits during your relevant working years. The amount a worker would need to earn to accumulate a credit usually changes from year to year. Generally, a worker will need 40 credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the last 10 years from the date you became disabled or allege disability. For those who worked consistently (without gaps) this means that they must prove disability within 5 years from when they stopped working. SSA has termed this date as the Date Last Insured (DLI), meaning the date when the workers credits "expire". The worker must be found disabled as of or prior to his DLI in order to be eligible for SSDI.
To qualify for SSI you do not need to an earnings record. In order to qualify financially, you have to prove that you do not have more than the maximum amount of resources or income. In 2016, an individual claimant cannot have more than $2,000 and a couple cannot have more than $3,000 in resources. Generally, the income limit for SSI is the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which is $733 per month for an individual and $1,100 for a couple in 2016. Thus, an individual cannot have more than $733 in countable income per month. Social Security only counts some income when it determines whether your income falls under the SSI income limit.
For both SSI and SSDI, once either the financial or work credit requirements are met, both types of benefits will be evaluated the same to determine medical eligibility. In order to be considered "disabled" a worker must:
- Not be able to perform the same work they did before;
- Receive a determination from the Social Security Administration stating they cannot adjust to other work due to their medical conditions(s); and
- Have a disability that must be expected to last for at least one year or result in death.
We can help you ascertain whether you have met the financial and medical eligibility requirements for SSI and/or SSDI.
How Can An Attorney Help?
We want your case to be presented to Social Security in the best possible position in order to win your benefits. This includes assisting you with completing required Social Security Administration forms, requesting medical records to support your disability, reviewing your medical records to assess how to present your case in the most favorable light, requesting a statement from your doctor to support your inability to work, representing you at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, cross-examining vocational experts, and ensuring that SSA calculates your benefits correctly.
Applying for Social Security benefits can be a tedious and frustrating process. Should an attorney assist you with this process, they are only paid if there are past-due benefits owed to you and the attorney's fee is approved through Social Security. It is usually either 25% or a maximum of $6,000.
To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, please submit a Case Evaluation Request Form or contact Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby today at 301-670-7030 or 800-248-3352.
Visit our blog on Social Security Disability