Federal Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) are paid to disabled workers who have an insured status with Social Security. If you have been off of work for 12 months or if your disability is expected to last 12 months, then you may qualify for SSDI benefits. Your right to Federal Social Security Disability benefits is governed by laws established by the United States Congress. Federal agencies and courts evaluate your entitlement to the disability benefits.
Federal Social Security Disability Benefits are intended to pay cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of their disability. There are two types of benefits involved here:
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI). To qualify for these benefits, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI benefits are generally lower than SSDI benefits. However, unlike SSDI benefits, you may be entitled to SSI benefits even if you have never worked or paid social security taxes. These benefits are based upon financial need.
In some cases you may be entitled to both SSDI and SSI benefits. You should generally apply for both. The benefits are intended to provide a continuing income to a disabled person and their family when they are unable to do so.
The law provides that when a worker becomes disabled by having a severe mental or physical impairment which prevents the worker from any type of work and (a) has lasted for at least one year or (b) is expected to last for at least one year or (c) is expected to result in death, he or she may be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits. It is important to understand that Social Security is based upon the inability to work. The system does not provide for partial disability. The disability benefits continue as long as the disability continues.
There are many factors which will be considered in determining your entitlement to the benefits. The severity of your physical or mental impairments, your age, your education, and your past work are all considered.
In order to determine disability under Title II (disability) and Title XVI (SSI), the Social Security Administration will go through a five step sequential evaluation as follows:
Is the Claimant working and performing substantial gainful activity (SGA)?
Does the Claimant have a severe impairment?
Does the Claimant have an impairment that meets or equals a listing?
Does the severity of the Claimant's impairments preclude the Claimant from performing their past relevant work?
Based upon the Claimant's residual functional capacity, can the Claimant perform other work, existing in significant numbers, in the regional or national economy?