Applying for SSDI or SSI benefits isn’t something that most of us want to do. But if you’ve become disabled or are disabled and on a limited income, the benefits that these programs provide can make a big difference in the financial resources available to you and your family.
Social Security Disability Insurance provides income to those who have become disabled and are no longer able to work. To qualify for the SSDI program, you must have worked long enough to receive credit in the Social Security system. Benefits are based on your Social Security income record and are payable to you or certain family members.
Supplemental Security Income provides monthly payments to those who are disabled and have limited income. It is not dependent on your work history. In many states, SSI is automatically awarded, along with Medicaid coverage. It’s payable to you directly, not any family members.
Whether you’re seeking SSDI or SSI benefits, you’ll need to understand what’s required when you apply. Your best source of information is the Social Security Administration. Check its website, www.socialsecurity.gov, for information on how to qualify and to find an office in your area. If transportation is an issue, a phone interview can be arranged to get you started.
Keep in mind that the approval process can take months, so it’s important to submit your application as soon as possible. Both SSDI and SSI applications will require you to provide substantial medical documentation of your disability. Work closely with your physician to ensure that your information is passed along in a timely manner. Your financial well-being depends on it.
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