If you are not able to work because of a medical condition, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. There are two types of disability programs for individuals who are not able to work due to a disabling medical condition: Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
The SSD program is designed for people who have worked and paid enough into the Social Security system in order to be eligible for benefits based on their work history. In order to determine whether you have worked long enough to be eligible for SSD, one rule of thumb is you would be eligible for SSD if you have worked full-time for 5 of the last 10 years. SSA bases your eligibility on work credits, which you earn on a quarterly basis. The number of credits you need is determined by age and your recent work history. This resource explains how the work credits are calculated based on age and work history: http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/credits3.htm
The amount of your monthly benefit depends on your individual work history. SSA calculates your benefit amount using your individual work history and a mathematical equation. If you would like to know what your individual benefit would be it is easiest to ask SSA directly. You can contact SSA toll free: (800) 772-1213
The SSI program is designed for people who have not worked long enough to earn the right amount of work credits for SSD and who are financially eligible for help. To be financially eligible for SSI, you would have to have limited income and assets. SSA will consider your spouse’s income, regular contributions from friends or family and money received from a settlement when determining whether you are eligible. Learn how SSI works: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityssi/ssi.html
Our payment is based on a percentage of the past-due benefits owed, if you are found disabled. There is no money out of your pocket.
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