Having a social safety net for those with serious medical conditions helps more people live independently as adults. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits help those who have worked and contributed to Social Security if they experience a medical event or develop a condition that affects their ability to work or live independently.
Throughout your working life, you will receive occasional updates from the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding the level of benefits you could potentially claim based on your current contributions. Given that a noticeable amount of your weekly paycheck goes to the SSA, it can be beneficial to see what benefits you have the right to claim later if you need them.
If you have only ever worked part-time, if you left the workforce to raise your children or if you have been so ill that you haven’t been able to work much, you may not have contributed enough to Social Security through your taxes to secure SSDI. Are there other options available to you?
SSI is an alternative program for those who don’t qualify based on work
SSDI benefits absolutely depend on your income and contributions as a working adult. If you haven’t worked or just haven’t worked enough, you won’t be able to claim SSDI regardless of how debilitating your medical condition is.
Thankfully, the SSA does not ignore those who have left the workforce to support their families or who have always been too ill or disabled to work. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a benefit program that helps those who have not made major contributions through payroll taxes.
SSI benefits are available for those with verifiable financial need past the age of retirement who don’t have enough to live on, working-age adults who don’t qualify for SSDI but still have disabling conditions and even children who have never worked.
Connecting with SSI involves a complex application process
Most people know that securing SSDI benefits can take time and a lot of effort. A noteworthy number of people have to appeal a rejection in order to get their benefits. SSI benefits also require detailed applications submitted to the SSA. You will need medical records and financial records in order to properly complete the application, as well as to comply with all the rules and deadlines involved.
Getting the right help when applying for SSI benefits can help you achieve success and give you more mental space to focus on yourself instead of on bureaucratic requirements.