Answers to some of the most common questions about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSDI is a disability insurance program financed by your Social Security paycheck deductions. Unless your age has prohibited it, you must have worked a total of 10 years (40 quarters), 5 of which must be within the last 10 years (20 of the last 40 quarters). During this work, you must have earned FICA-taxed wages to be eligible for SSDI. By contrast, SSI requires no work time at all, but there are limits to eligibility based on how much property you own or money you have in the bank.
With both SSI and SSDI, you must be found disabled. That is, interpreted as being unable to perform any “Substantial Gainful Activity.” The Social Security Administration oversees both programs.
Medical reports are extremely important in proving your disability. While you can ask that the Social Security Administration provide doctors for “consultative exams,” these are a poor substitute for the reports of a treating physician. If you cannot afford a doctor, you may be able to obtain treatment through a hospital clinic or county health services. If you do not know how to find these services in your area, contact us and we will try to assist in any way we can.
Many people under the age of 40 mistakenly believe that it is impossible for them to win an SSDI or SSI claim. This is certainly not true. If you have a work history, and if you have a disability that will prevent you from working for one year or longer, you may be eligible for benefits regardless of your age. Contact the SSDI lawyers at the LaPorte Law Firm with any questions about eligibility.