El Paso, TX – Texas residents who develop a condition that leaves them unable to earn a living can look for help from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two types of disability benefits you can access:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income.
Both programs are administered by the SSA, but the eligibility requirements are different, and so is the maximum payment you can expect.
For either program, you must file an application with the SSA, but it is recommended that you talk to an experienced EL Paso disability benefits lawyer before you do so. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you fill in the forms, which are far more complicated than you’d expect, and gather the medical evidence needed to prove that you are disabled.
Here are the most important differences between the two disability programs.
SSDI is accessible to people who have worked for a number of years and paid Social Security, which means they are insured. To be eligible for SSDI, an applicant must be younger than 65 and prove they have earned the required number of work credits for their age group. To understand whether you meet the work credits requirement, you should seek advice from a skilled social security disability lawyer in El Paso, Texas.
SSI is a needs-oriented program. Supplemental Security Income is available for people who are disabled and have very limited financial means. You may apply for SSI even if you’ve never worked a day in your life or you didn’t pay Social Security on your earnings.
People who apply for disability benefits must have a serious medical condition. This means these people need affordable healthcare. However, there’s a big difference between the healthcare programs available under the two programs.
People who are approved for SSDI will have to wait for two years before they become eligible for Medicare.
Those whose SSI applications are approved become immediately eligible for Medicaid.
The problem is that Medicare is not as comprehensive as Medicaid. For instance, Medicare covers routine hospital services and most but not all primary medical care. On the other hand, Medicaid offers a broad array of medical services, such as inpatient and outpatient hospital services, physician services, laboratory and x-ray services, and home health services. This puts SSDI recipients at a disadvantage. Not only will they have to wait longer to get health insurance, but they may also have to pay extra for a Medigap policy that offers access to services not available under Medicare.
The main drawback of SSI is that the monthly payments are lower than those available under SSDI. In 2022, for instance, the standard SSI payment was $841 per month. You may get less than that if you have other forms of income.
When you are approved for SSDI, the value of your monthly payment will be calculated based on your past earnings. In 2022, the average SSDI payment was $1,358. Yet, people who had high incomes before they became disabled can expect monthly benefits upwards of $3,000.
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