The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two programs for people with disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits.

SSDI and SSI are similar, but they are not the same. You and your family receive SSDI benefits only if you have worked for a required period of time and paid Social Security taxes. You receive SSI benefits if you meet the financial requirements. In addition, you keep receiving SSDI benefits until you regain the ability to work regularly, and you keep receiving SSI benefits until the SSA determines you no longer need financial assistance and/or you are no longer disabled.

In order to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, you must meet all the criteria set forth by the SSA.

Social Security Disability Benefits Maryland

What are the requirements to qualify for SSDI benefits?

If you are younger than 65 years old, you have to prove that you are disabled. You must:

  • If you are unable to work due to a medical condition
  • Have a medical condition(s) recognized by the SSA
  • Be unable to do the work you previously did
  • Be deemed unable to do any other work
  • Have a disability that is expected to last more than twelve months or until you die

In order to receive SSDI benefits, you have to have “worked long enough and recently enough” according to the SSA and have a medical condition(s) recognized by the SSA. The amount of time you worked is calculated into work credits, and you can earn up to 4 credits a year. how many credits you need to receive SSDI benefits depends on how old you were when you became disabled. Generally speaking if you worked full time and have enough credits your eligibility will continue for 5 years after you stopped working. You can get the benefit if you are found disabled at any point prior to the expiration of the five years. This expiration date is called your “date last insured.”

The monetary amount that qualifies as one credit changes annually. In 2018, $1,320 equals one credit, and $5,280 equals four credits.

What are the requirements to qualify for SSI benefits?

You qualify for SSI benefits if you:

  • If you are unable to do any work due to a medical condition
  • Have a medical condition(s) recognized by the SSA
  • Have limited financial resources
  • Are an American citizen or a lawful resident living freely in the U.S. and not in a government prison, a government hospital, etc.
  • Have a disability that is expected to last more than twelve months or until you die
  • Meet certain other criteria

In addition, you have to have a total monetary amount less than $2,000; if you have a total amount of $2,000 or more, you do not qualify.

Making a claim for Disability benefits can be complicated. A mistake on your application can set back your claim. At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we help disable people apply for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Insurance (when applicable). We also assist clients who have tried to apply for benefits and been denied. To learn more about our services, or to speak with an experienced Maryland Disability lawyer, please call 410.730.7737, or send us a request through our contact form.