If you become disabled, it is a very stressful time. It’s important to know what your options are and how to qualify for disability benefits. If you need to be out of work for any amount of time, you need to consider how you are going to pay for your bills in the meantime. There are different options that are available to you depending on your individual circumstances. In most cases, people will collect one or the other of the options below, but it is possible to collect both at the same time.
What benefits are available if you become disabled?
a) Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, will pay benefits to you and certain members of your family. This is the case if you worked long enough and paid enough into Social Security during this time.
In order to qualify for Social Security Insurance, you need to have a medical condition that is considered severe. This means that the condition is expected to last at least a year or be a terminal condition. It also needs to prevent you from working and able to earn your own income.
b) Supplemental Security Income
This program pays out and is dependent on need. It is available to both adults and children with limited resources and income. These benefits are also available to people who are 65 or older and also fit within the financial limitations.
For 2017 the limits are $735 per month per individual and $1,103 per month for a couple. The amount you earn needs to be under the limits in order to qualify.
How to qualify for these programs:
a) Your condition needs to meet requirements.
Your condition must be considered severe, meet the time requirements and either be listed in the bluebook or be equivalent to a listing in the bluebook.
b) You will need to provide documentation.
In order to prove your medical condition qualifies for one of the benefits listed above, you will need to provide medical documentation. This includes all dates of doctor visits, diagnosis, limitations, tests and any treatments prescribed. It’s important to follow the treatment recommendations from your doctor. If you don’t, this can be cause for your claim to be dismissed.