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Which is the right program for you, SSDI or SSI?

You may have worked construction all your life and experienced no injuries greater than a sprained wrist. That said, recently, you severely injured your back in a jobsite accident.

You expect to be out of work for months. Will you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or should you look into Supplemental Security Income?

Qualifying for SSDI

To determine whether you have an impairment that qualifies you for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, the Social Security Administration relies on a list of disabling medical conditions. Your back injury could appear on this list, but if not, the SSA will review your injury to see if it is as severe as a similar listed impairment. To receive benefits, your injury must keep you from working for at least 12 months and from performing basic work efforts, such as sitting, standing or walking. The SSA will evaluate your skills, your education and your ability to do any other type of work before granting you benefits. Keep in mind that to qualify for SSDI, you must be younger than 65.

Understanding SSI

The government has established Social Security Income as a welfare program. Like the SSDI program, the disability for which you plan to submit a claim must be serious enough to keep you from working for at least 12 months. However, to qualify for SSI, you are not required to have a work history nor to have paid Social Security taxes. You are only eligible if you are 65 years of age or older.

Filing a claim

Government programs like SSDI and SSI are not the easiest to understand. There are only a few similarities and many differences. Filing a claim for either program is not easy either and, in many cases, the Social Security Administration denies initial claims. The appeal process is the norm, so you should not allow denial to discourage you. Get the help you need in understanding which program is the most favorable for you and in putting together a successful claim for disability assistance.

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