Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the two primary forms of economic relief that the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides to Americans with disabilities. However, simply because you have a disability does not mean that applying for SSDI or SSI is appropriate for you. So how should you know if you should be applying for disability benefits from the SSA?
There are three primary factors that are considered when you apply for SSDI or SSI. The first is whether you have a physical or psychological condition that prevents you from working. The second is whether it is possible for you to get another job despite your disability, based on your experience, education, and training. The third is whether you have accumulated enough work credits through prior employment (for SSDI) or whether you fall below a certain income threshold (for SSI). If you fail to meet any of these criteria, you will not be able to obtain disability benefits.
Therefore, simply having a persistent medical or psychological condition is not enough to qualify under these criteria. It must be sufficiently disabling that you cannot work, either in your current profession or in another field, based on your training, experience and education. For example, a construction worker who is injured and loses the use of his legs may qualify for SSDI or SSI, while an accountant who suffers the same injury may not, because the accountant can still do his job even without the ability to walk. Thus, whether you can qualify for disability benefits through the SSA will depend heavily on the nature and severity of your disability, as well as your own education and skill set.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.