You may qualify for is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both.
SSDI benefits are for disabled workers who have worked at least five of the past ten years. The five years of work experience give workers enough “credits” to qualify to receive benefits. These work requirements can be waived for workers who are disabled before the age of 22, who can recover from their parents’ benefits without any adverse effect on their parents’ benefits.
The amount of benefits that a worker can receive will be based on their Social Security earnings when the individual was working. The worker’s dependent children may be able to receive benefits if the disabled individual worked for a sufficient period of time. Disability payments can be retroactive for up to one year prior to the application provided that the applicant was disabled at that time.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is specifically intended for individuals who are blind or over the age of 65. SSI has strict income restrictions because it is designed to supplement a disabled person’s income. A disabled person may earn too much to qualify to receive SSI. SSI is also available for individuals who have not worked for a substantial period of time. SSI usually pays retroactive benefits up to the day you applied for benefits.
EVIDENCE OF A DISABILITY FOR SSI or SSDI
The best way to show that you have a disability or impairment is with medical records and reports. Ask your doctor to prepare a report detailing your medical history, the symptoms of your illness/disability, your diagnosis and your prognosis. Make sure that your doctor also discusses how the disability relates to your ability to work, such as your ability to sit, stand, lift and work for an extended period of time.
Apply for Social Security benefits as soon as you and your doctor believe your impairment or disability will last longer than one year. There is no reason for you to delay your application for benefits. Waiting to file an application will only prolongs the time until you receive Social Security benefits. If you have a disability that affects your ability to work, apply as soon as possible.