Definitions according to the Social Security Administration
The definitions below were taken from SSA.gov and for informational purposes only. You should consult a representative from the Social Security Administrative or your attorney if you have additional questions about the application process.
Disabled: The Social Security Administration (or “SSA”) pays benefits for total disability and not partial or short-term disability.
SSA considers someone disabled if:
1. You cannot do the work that you did before;
2. SSA decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
3. Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):
Each individual case is different and you should consult your attorney if you have questions about your case. In addition to the aforementioned requirements, in order to receive SSDI, SSA requires a certain amount of work credits to qualify for disability benefits. Additional information about this criteria can be found on the SSA website.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
Someone who does not have the necessary work credits, but still qualifies as being disabled under the SSA qualification(s), can receive SSI. Other people who may qualify for SSI include: low-income people 65 years old or older and blind individuals. This includes disabled and blind children.
The initial step in the application process often includes presenting your work history to the SSA. The SSA representative can assist in determining if you may initially qualify with the necessary work credits. You should consult your attorney of a representative from the SSA if you have additional questions whether you should apply for SSDI or SSI.
As mentioned, if you do not have an attorney, you can contact me directly by calling (800) 580-7432 for a free consultation. If I decide to take your case, my office is not paid unless your case is successful.