A Look at the Difference Between SSI and SSDI Benefits

While many people have heard of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, there is another option for some disabled residents of Boston known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSI program, also run the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), is designed to provide disability benefits for those who have never worked, or “paid into the system” to use the term SSA would use.

just-printed-1408010-m.jpgIn an SSDI claim, the SSA will look at the number of years that the claimant has worked and the amount of money that employee has paid into the SSA system in taxes prior to becoming disabled. In order to qualify for benefits, the workers must have paid taxes for a certain number of years prior to becoming eligible for benefits. The number of years is dependent upon the age of the claimant, meaning that a younger worker many not be required to work as many years as an older worker in order to receive SSDI benefits.

As discussed by the Asbury Park Press, SSI benefits are available to children under the age of 18 who are disabled or blind, if the condition meets the requirements of the SSA guidelines and the family where the child resides also qualifies as being within the income guidelines allowed. An SSI benefits award will be paid in monthly installments to the child’s family. The SSI program is also available to the elderly.

While this is a program that can help those in need, unfortunately, as our disability lawyers in Boston understand, many who are otherwise qualified to receive benefits are denied because of the stringent and difficult application process set by the SSA.

Many claimants are unable to even complete the application or take part in the process, due to the limitations of their disability. One of the best things disabled persons or their caregivers or disabled children can do to get trough the difficult application process and obtain a full and appropriate award of benefits is to speak with an attorney before applying for benefits.

The importance of having someone on your side who is experienced in representing disabled claimants in Boston cannot be overstated. It is also important to have that help from the outset of the benefits application process. It is much easier for your attorney to make sure things are done correctly from the beginning than to go back to try to correct the problems the SSA has caused for claimants after the damage has been done.

It is also important to document all symptoms and limitations of the condition that causes the disability and gather any medical records. This will probably involve obtaining a complete medical record from all health care providers that have seen the claimant. The more information that can be provided to your attorney at the initial consult, the more you can increase the chances of obtaining a quicker award of benefits. Waiting to obtain medial records from doctors and hospitals can be a long process, especially for records that go back many years, so it is important to get started on this process as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.

Additional Resources:

Social Security: Disabled children can get benefits
, October 5, 2014, Asbury Park Press, More Blog Entries:

Funding Road Construction on the Backs of the Disabled, July 16, 2014, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyers Blog

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