by Brad Myler
Before you apply for Social Security Disability, you will need to determine which class of benefits you should be applying for.
You see, there are two main classifications: SSI, also known as Supplemental Security Income, and SSDI or DIB, or disability insurance benefits.
Disability insurance benefits are precisely that, an insurance benefit that you pay for through regular payroll deductions. Because of this, receiving DIB benefits is dependent on the applicant having sufficient work credits (in addition to the standard disability qualifications.)
While the exact work credit requirements vary based on age, you generally need to have worked for at least 5 out of the last 10 years to even have a chance at qualifying for benefits. These credits work on a rolling system, so credits have a lifespan of only 10 years and drop-off after that.
SSI on the other hand is a form of welfare, and is not dependent on any work history. You need only meet the age and/or disability requirements to qualify for benefits. There are some elements of the SSI application requirements that can get pretty tricky, so you’ll want to look into this carefully before you start an application.
Now that you know what your options are, you may also be interested to know that in some instances you may even qualify for both types, though your payments will at least partially offset each other if this is the case. While there are difference in the requirements for each type of benefit, both have the same disability requirements.
You must be afflicted with a qualifying disability, and this disability must be severe enough that you will be unable to work for at least the next 12 months, or must be expected to result in death. That may seem a bit harsh, but without such requirements the system would be unable to function effectively.
When filing for disability benefits, the burden of proof is on the applicant. This means that it is up to you, and your advocate if you use one, to assemble and present enough evidence supporting your claim to assuage any doubt the case reviewers may have.
Though a large percentage of initial applications are denied, you may be able to increase your likelihood of receiving benefits by using the services of a disability advocate. We just so happen to be disability advocates, and we would be more than happy to talk to you about your case and help you to determine whether or not you may qualify to apply for benefits.
If you would like help with your application, or to determine if you should apply, simply fill out this short form or call the number at the top of the page.