Happy man and his African American wife handing over paperwork for their ssi claim
By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can provide crucial financial support for individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. Here are five compelling reasons to consider applying for these benefits, along with an overview of the benefits claimants can receive. Additionally, we’ll highlight circumstances in which individuals may not be eligible for benefits.

1. Financial Support During Disability

Benefits Overview: SSDI provides monthly payments to individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes but are no longer able to work due to a disability. SSI, on the other hand, offers financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources, regardless of their work history.

Reason to Apply: Applying for SSDI or SSI benefits can provide much-needed financial support to cover living expenses, medical bills, and other essential needs while unable to work due to a disability.

2. Access to Healthcare Coverage

Benefits Overview: Both SSDI and SSI recipients are eligible for Medicare coverage after a waiting period. Medicare helps cover medical expenses, including hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, and certain preventive services.

Reason to Apply: Access to Medicare coverage can significantly reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs for individuals with disabilities, ensuring they receive necessary medical treatment and services.

3. Potential Additional Benefits

Benefits Overview: In addition to monthly payments, SSDI and SSI recipients may be eligible for additional benefits, such as dependent benefits for spouses and children, as well as Medicaid coverage in some states.

Reason to Apply: Applying for SSDI or SSI benefits not only provides financial support for the disabled individual but may also extend benefits to eligible dependents, providing crucial support for the entire family.

4. Protection Against Financial Hardship

Benefits Overview: Disability benefits provide a safety net for individuals who are unable to work due to a disability, helping prevent financial hardship and poverty.

Reason to Apply: Disability can significantly impact a person’s ability to earn income and support themselves financially. Applying for SSDI or SSI benefits can help protect against the financial strain caused by a disability and provide stability during challenging times.

5. Eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Benefits Overview: Some SSDI and SSI recipients may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, including job training, counseling, and job placement assistance, to help them re-enter the workforce if their condition improves.

Reason to Apply: Even if a disability prevents immediate return to work, vocational rehabilitation services can help individuals develop skills and resources to pursue employment opportunities in the future, promoting independence and self-sufficiency.

Circumstances Where Applying May Not Be Appropriate

While SSDI and SSI benefits provide crucial support for individuals with disabilities, there are circumstances in which individuals may not be eligible for benefits:

  1. Not Meeting Disability Criteria: To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, individuals must meet the SSA’s definition of disability, which requires a severe impairment that prevents substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months or is expected to result in death.
  2. Exceeding Income or Resource Limits: SSI benefits are based on financial need, and individuals with income or resources exceeding eligibility limits may not qualify for benefits.
  3. Refusal to Cooperate: Failure to cooperate with the SSA’s requests for information or medical documentation may result in denial of benefits.
  4. Engagement in Substantial Gainful Activity: Individuals who are able to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) despite their disability may not be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.

Contact our Disability Attorneys Today

In conclusion, applying for SSDI or SSI benefits can provide vital financial support and access to healthcare coverage for individuals with disabilities. However, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria and consider individual circumstances before applying. Consulting with a disability attorney can help navigate the application process and ensure eligibility requirements are met.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals in Florida obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.