The federal government makes Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) available to most Ohioans. The most basic requirement for SSDI is to have paid into the Social Security system or to be the child of someone who did. SSI is also reserved for Social Security participants, though certain individuals who have spent their lives so disabled that they could never work may also qualify for federal income supplements.
Not everyone pays into Social Security. For instance, professional firefighters and state government workers in Ohio have their retirement and disability needs covered by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System or OPERS. Other state-based retirement plans exist for public school teachers and for nonteaching public school employees.
Checking with a Columbus Social Security disability lawyer before applying for SSDI or SSI benefits to establish basic eligibility will save significant time and effort. Here are a few other important things to know about the two types of Social Security disability benefits.
What Does SSDI Cover?
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are only available to individuals who have long-term disabilities. The disabling condition can be physical or mental, but it must leave the applicant unable to work for at least one year. A condition that is expected to prove fatal can also qualify for SSDI.
Other programs exist for short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation and private insurance. Often, people who initially rely on workers’ comp or another form of disability assistance find it necessary to apply for SSDI.
The Social Security program requires proof of each applicant’s disability. This proof comes from doctors’ diagnoses and assessments of an applicant’s ability to perform the basic tasks of a job, such as standing, bending, or speaking.
Who Qualifies for SSI?
Supplement Security Income is available to people who suffer from a disability and who have little or no income. SSI applicants can be earning some pay from part-time work and accepting workers’ compensation, Medicaid, or other benefits, but their total income from all sources must be very low.
Applying for SSI requires submitting detailed financial reports, including information on bank accounts, investments, real estate holdings, and valuables. Many people who apply for SSDI benefits ask for SSI at the same time. A Columbus disability attorney will be able to advise a client on whether this makes sense.
How Much Money Can a Person Receive in SSDI and SSI Benefits?
Each person who qualifies will receive a different amount. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are based on how much money a person has paid in Social Security withholding. SSI benefits are capped at a monthly maximum payment that changes each year, and the payment that gets sent is reduced from the maximum by the amount of other income the beneficiary receives.
Meeting with a Columbus Social Security disability lawyer will help you estimate how much you could receive in SSDI and/or SSI benefits. The disability attorneys with the Calig Law Firm welcome such questions, and we can assist you with completing and filing applications. To request a consultation, call us at (614) 222-2300 or connect with us online.