As a preliminary matter, you must demonstrate the following to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits:
First, you must have worked for a certain amount of time during the years before you became disabled. SSDI candidates who do not meet this history of earnings threshold may only be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. For candidates who meet this threshold, the dollar amount of your disability compensation depends in part on your history of earnings.
Second, your disability must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of disability. According to the SSA, you qualify for SSDI only if:
- You cannot do the work you did before you became disabled
- You cannot perform another job in your current medical condition
- Your doctor expects that your injury will last for at least one year or result in death.
There are delays between the date of your disability’s onset and the date when your disability benefits begin. You are not entitled to SSDI payments for six months after the date of onset of your disability. Medicare payments begin 30 months after the onset of your disability. The program also limits eligibility based on your monthly earning capacity. I can explain the Social Security disability program to you in greater detail during a one-on-one initial consultation.
If you are ineligible for SSDI benefits, you may be eligible for SSI benefits
If you are disabled and continue to earn more than what the SSDI program allows because there is no financial alternative for your family, you may qualify for SSI benefits. The SSA will use a precise formula to calculate your eligibility based on your current earning capacity and your current medical expenses. I will assess your case and help you explore your legal options, including alternative sources of income and healthcare options.
SSI benefits are available to disabled children or disabled adults who have limited access to resources and income and do not meet the earnings requirement for SSDI. To qualify for SSI benefits, you will need to show that your impairments keep you from obtaining substantial gainful employment and your impairments can be expected to result in death or to last for at least 12 months.