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Should you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits?

When a person cannot work, it affects his or her financial stability. If you are unable to hold a job because of a medical condition or a mental illness, you may be able to secure financial support from the Social Security Administration. The first step in this process is to determine which type of benefits is best for your individual situation. 

There are two different types of disability benefits available through the SSA. These are Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. The intent of both SSDI and SSI is to provide disabled individuals with income they would not be able to get on their own. The right option for your disability claim depends on eligibility requirements and other factors.

How can you know what you are eligible for?

If you have a work history and paid certain payroll taxes, you paid into the Social Security system and are likely eligible for SSDI benefits. If your condition is such that you have never been able to work, you may be able to apply for SSI benefits. It may help you to understand more about SSDI, starting with the following facts:

  • Your work history will determine if you are eligible for these benefits.
  • In order to be eligible, you must have a disability expected to last for at least 12 months or result in your death.
  • The amount of SSDI benefits you may be able to receive depends on how much you earned in the past.

If you are not eligible for SSDI benefits, you still have the option to pursue SSI benefits. The following information about Supplemental Security Income may be useful:

  • SSI benefits do not depend on your work history or how much you earned.
  • This type of support may be available to individuals who are over the age of 65, have a disability or are blind. Disabled children may be eligible, too.
  • The amount of SSI benefits you may receive depend on your financial resources and any income you have. 

Getting the right type of disability benefits is important for you and your family. Knowing about eligibility requirements and which one you should apply for can help you avoid certain complications and setbacks. 

Be prepared and informed

Before you proceed with a disability claim, it can be helpful to seek an evaluation of your case and explanation of the options available to you. You may find it beneficial to work closely with an experienced West Virginia Social Security disability attorney who can help you pursue your goals.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
209 Capitol Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: 304-932-4619
Fax: 304-414-6040
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Office Hours: 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Closed on all federal holidays.

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