Your Pennsylvania social security disability questions are answered

Social Security Disability pays money for people who can't work due to various factors. If you or a loved one has a condition or injury that is affecting yours or their ability to work you may have a lot of questions about disability benefits. There are two types of programs for Social Security Disability - SSDI or SSI. What is the difference between SSDI-Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI-Supplemental Security Income.

The Social Security Administration offers Social Security Disability benefits for individuals who, because of their physical and/or mental health, are unable to work. Both programs, SSDI and SSI, require that someone is unable to perform any substantial gainful activity for 12 months or longer taking into account various factors including their age, education, past work experience, and severe impairments. In other words they are both programs for the disabled who are unable to work.

However the two Social Security Disability programs have different financial requirements. Generally speaking SSI is a needs based program. For SSI it's basically a needs based program for the disabled who haven' worked or haven't worked much or who's earnings weren't high enough to qualify for SSDI. For SSI the government is looking at an individuals' financial situation, their assets and income making sure it is below a certain amount-sort of like welfare for the disabled, poor, widows and children.

SSDI is more like an insurance program for people who have worked and paid into the system. SSDI is for people who are disabled and have paid into the system. For SSDI you are paying insurance premiums to the Social Security system through payroll taxes and one needs to have enough earnings based on their work history and contributions (paid enough into the system) to qualify. Your social security taxes are like paying an insurance premium on an insurance policy so that if you ever become disabled and meet the medical requirements you will have insurance (SSDI payments) to cover you.

Thus for Social Security Disability - SSDI or SSI both require the same medical requirements but they have different financial requirements.

Most people aren't sure if they should apply for one or another. Generally the Social Security Administration will screen applications for both programs.

Interestingly some people may qualify for both. This is commonly seen in someone who has worked and paid into the system but has low earnings. Thus if someone qualifies for SSDI but based on work history if an SSDI payment is lower than $698 a month, and other assets, resources, and forms of income are low enough one would qualify for concurrent, both SSDI and SSI benefits. Although SSDI does decrease the amount of the SSI payment.

If you or a loved one has a condition or injury that is affecting your or their ability to work and you have questions about disability benefits please contact the law firm of Dugan & Associates at 888-99-DUGAN.

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