To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, an applicant must submit comprehensive medical evidence proving a medical condition that meets the agency’s definition of ‘disability’. Though, medical evidence alone is not sufficient to qualify for benefits—there are also non-medical requirements. Below, you will find a brief overview of the financial eligibility factors for both SSDI and SSI.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Financial Eligibility
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll tax funded program that provides benefits to qualified people who are no longer able to work because of an injury, disability, or medical condition. To satisfy the financial eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits, you must prove:
1. Work History
Not everyone is covered by SSDI. To be eligible for disability benefits through the program an applicant must have earned sufficient “work credits”—meaning they need a long enough work history to have paid into the program. For most people, SSDI requires between five and ten years of work experience.
2. Income Limit
SSDI claims are also subject to strict income limits. You must earn less than $1,260 (2020) in monthly income. Applicants who make too much money will be declared ineligible for SSDI benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Financial Eligibility
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that is funded through general tax revenue that provides coverage to disabled people with limited resources. To satisfy the financial eligibility requirements for SSI benefits, you must satisfy the:
1. Income Limit
As it is a need-based program with no work history requirement, SSI has an even more stringent income limit. In 2020, the maximum individual monthly income is $783.
2. Asset Test
Unlike SSDI, SSI claims are also subject to an asset test. If you have more than $2,000 in financial assets ($3,000 for a couple), you may not be eligible for benefits. Though, to be clear, some assets are exempt from the test. For example, a primary residence is not counted against an SSI applicant.
If you are asking yourself “am I eligible for SSDI?”, an experienced advocate such as Attorney Vic Arruda can help. Do not wait to get started: Take immediate action to protect your rights.