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What benefits do I have access to if I am disabled?

Published on August 29th, 2014

Living with a disability can sometimes be a challenge for many people. Depending on the severity of the condition, everyday tasks may be difficult or even impossible to perform without someone else’s help. Oftentimes, this leads to life-long care, which may come with a hefty price tag.

Thankfully, the United States government has programs in place that can help provide financial assistance to people with disabilities. While we have discussed these programs before, we realize that some of you may be new to our blog, which is why we wanted to highlight these programs again in this week’s post.

There are two main programs that are accessible for most people who have a disability. They are: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Although both programs provide disability benefits, each has its own set of requirements that makes it different from the other. Let’s take a closer look.

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI for short, is a program that provides benefits to people with disabilities who have worked and paid FICA taxes for a certain amount of time. Payments are based on how long you worked prior to your disability. It’s worth noting that the Social Security Administration does allow a disabled person to collect disability benefits while they are working, provided they meet a certain set of requirements.

Another program offered to people with disabilities is Supplemental Security Income, or SSI for short. To be eligible for this program, a person must be totally disabled and have little to no income. But unlike SSDI, those who apply for SSI benefits do not need to have a work history. Children who are born with a disability or become disabled later in life may also collect benefits.

Although a person does not need a skilled lawyer when applying for disability benefits, legal representation may be necessary if a claim is denied and needs to be appealed. The appeals process may be overwhelming for someone who does not know how the system works and the complexities of the law. Without an attorney, a person may continually be denied access to the benefits they deserve.

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