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How can Social Security Disability benefits help you?

If you or a family member suffers from a disability that prohibits you from working, it may be very difficult to make ends meet. But for those who suffer from a long-term injury, illness, or mental condition and are unable to work due to their disabling condition, help may be on the way. The Social Security Administration has multiple programs in place to help disabled Americans who have been unable to work at least a year or whose condition is expected to end in death.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI, is available to workers who paid into the program through their previous payroll tax contributions. To qualify, you need at least twenty "quarters of coverage". The amount of the benefits coverage is based on the amount of money paid into the program. Even if you have not paid into the program and do not qualify, there may be another alternative available.

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is designed for those who are under 65 and have not paid into the SSDI program, for individuals 65 and older, for the blind and for disabled children. To qualify, certain financial qualifications must be met. The administration will look at the applicant's financial resources such as assets and bank statements.

There are many qualifying conditions that Social Security will consider for your disability. Whether it is a serious injury such as a spine or traumatic brain injury, an illness such as cancer, or a mental condition such as depression or anxiety attacks, you may qualify to receive financial assistance. Although the programs are not designed to fully cover treatment or medical expenses, they will still help you with your day to day expenses. The process is not always easy, especially if you are already trying to live with your disability. You may want to seek Social Security Disability legal assistance to make certain that you qualify and to help you along the way to assure your application has the best chance of being accepted.

Source: By findlaw.com, "What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?" Accessed on Oct. 25, 2016

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  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Protecting People’s rights
  • NOSSCR National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
  • American Association for Justice formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America ATLA
  • ABA American Bar Association
  • NOVA
  • North Carolina State Bar
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