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Programs to help with disabilities

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2016 | Social Security Disability Benefits

Disabilities are shocking and life changing. While they make everything more difficult, they don’t have to completely dominate your life. If a disability hampers your ability to earn a living, there are programs that can help you. Two in general, SSI and SSDI, are available to the American public to assist with living expenses. Take a closer look to see what they can do for you.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefit program designed to help those in need, regardless of work history or age. In general, if you can demonstrate sufficient disability, you will receive benefits, once your request is approved. The amount provided is also based on need, meaning those with large assets or monthly income will receive smaller assistance.

Eligibility is pretty simple. First, you must have a disability, be blind or be over 65. Second, your assets cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. The assets do not include the value of your primary home and several other factors, so even if you think you might be over the threshold, consider a deeper look to be sure.

Finally, pay is based on your residual income. Many people with disabilities can still work to some extent, and this does not automatically disqualify you. Instead, your payout will be reduced based on your income from all other sources.


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is quite a bit different from SSI. This biggest thing to understand is that this support is based on work history. Much like Social Security Retirement, SSDI requires you to work a set amount before you can receive compensation. Of course, you also have to demonstrate a disability, and this insurance does not apply to non-disabled seniors like SSI does.

Qualifications for SSDI can get pretty convoluted. Basically, your age when your disability occurs determines how many years you need to have worked prior. The age groups for determination are under 24, 24 to 30 and 31 or older. Each older age group requires more work to qualify, but case-by-case judgments are often made, so it’s better to discuss your case with an expert before counting yourself in or out.

SSDI is not based on needs, but certain earning thresholds will disqualify you from benefits. On average, if you can make more than $1,820 a month from a single income, you will not qualify, but like all of the other considerations, exceptions can be made on an individual basis. If you meet the minimum requirements though, you can expect to withdraw benefits.

If you think there’s a chance you could qualify for either of these programs, talk to an experienced attorney. They can help you with the intricacies of applications and exceptions to make sure you get the biggest payout possible. You can take back control of your life, so get the help you need today.

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