Applying for Social Security benefits can be a confusing process for many people. It is important to know the difference between SSD and SSI, as well as what claims you are eligible for and what it means if you receive these benefits. Being on top of your claim, and obtaining representation early, could mean the difference in thousands of dollars of benefits.
Understanding SSD Benefits
SSD or Social Security Disability benefits, also known as Title 2 benefits, are available to anyone who has paid into the Social Security Administration for a certain amount of quarters. One earns one “credit” for each $1,260.00 of wages or self-employment income (if paid to Social Security). When you have earned $5,040.00, you have earned four “credits” for the year.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.
If you are injured on the job, and unable to work, it is important to file for disability along with any Labor and Industries claim to protect your “date last insured.” Date last insured, roughly three years from the date you last worked in a substantial way, is the date you need to prove you were disabled by in order to receive Title 2 or SSD benefits. The date is important because Title 2, SSD benefits, are typically, more than SSI benefits. SSD benefits, unlike SSI benefits, are based upon the amount you made in your career and amounts paid into the Social Security trust. If you have worked for 30 years, for instance, the amount you receive if found disabled will be significantly higher than SSI benefits.
Understanding SSI Benefits
SSI, or Supplemental Security Income benefits are available to all people over the age of 18, even if one has never worked in any gainful matter. SSI benefits are standard throughout the country. The current amount, in 2016, is $733.00 for an eligible individual and $1,100 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. If a cost of living adjustment is made, or “COLA,” these numbers might change in 2017. SSI, unlike SSD benefits, do not measure past work to determine the amount to be paid. SSI benefits are the same for everyone — $733.00 per month.
Getting Help from a Qualified SSI and SSD Attorney
There are many other differences between SSI and SSD benefits. This is meant to only be a sample. If you are curious about your claim or filing a claim, it is important to speak to an attorney who is experienced in both SSI and SSD claims and legal issues that could be present for your claim.
At Russell and Hill, PLLC, we represent both SSD and SSI claimants. We have experienced attorneys who are able to represent you in the often complex and confusing process for many people. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.