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Apply for Social Security: SSI or SSDI

Social Security Disability Benefits Made Easy

If you are disabled now, or if you become disabled in the future and are confused about your potential disability benefits, you are not alone. Navigating disability benefit options can be confusing, which often discourages individuals who have become disabled from seeking the disability benefits that could greatly improve their quality of life. Knowing what benefits are available and which of these you should apply for will eliminate some of the confusion and stress you may experience if you become disabled. If you are confused about your potential benefits, keep reading to learn what you should apply for and how to apply.

What Social Security Disability Benefits Can I Apply For?

A person who becomes disabled can apply for one of two disability benefit programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The disability benefits you can apply for should you become disabled will depend on your work history. The most important nuance between SSDI and SSI is your earnings. If you have a stable work history in which you have earned steady income, you should apply for SSDI. If you do not have a stable work history, you should apply for SSI. Here is the difference between the two types of benefits:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI is a government funded disability insurance program in which a portion of an employed person’s pay is withheld from each paycheck and sent to the federal government. If, when you become disabled, you have worked for five of the 10 years prior to your disability, you can apply for SSDI. The benefit amount you receive will depend on your earnings; the higher your earnings have been, the higher your benefit amount will be. SSDI is based solely on your work history and your earnings. SSDI is not affected by other financial resources available to you. If your spouse earns a high salary, you will still be eligible for SSDI, and the amount you can draw will not change.

A person holds a pencil above a clipboard portraying a person trying to apply for social security

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a welfare program that is not based on earnings. If you have never worked, or if a period of 5-10 years has lapsed between the time you last worked and the time you become disabled, you should apply for SSI. To receive SSI, you must be disabled and unable to work, and you must have limited resources. Having other assets or a spouse who is employed could drastically reduce the amount you are able to draw in monthly SSI benefits.

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

There are three ways to apply for disability benefits: in person, via telephone, or online. We urge you to apply for your disability benefits in person at your local Social Security Administration or by calling your local Social Security Administration and submitting your application by telephone. While it is possible to apply for benefits online, it can be difficult. Often, individuals who apply for benefits online are not as successful as those who choose one of the other options. Online applications can be submitted by visiting ssa.gov.

What if I Need Help Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits?

It is normal to feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the disability benefits application process. You don’t have to face it alone. At Marcus Vaden Law, we have been helping people just like you apply for and receive the benefits they deserve for more than 30 years. Marcus Vaden is a seasoned trial lawyer and will escalate your case as necessary to ensure you receive your benefits to which you are entitled. We are here to help. Call us today at 501.329.8723 or visit us online at MarcusVadenLaw.com and leave the hard work to us.

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