The Social Security Administration provides financial benefits for many different types of disabilities – which can make it difficult to determine whether yourself or a loved one may be eligible to receive benefits. Following is some general information and a few guidelines that you may find helpful.
Two different disability programs.
There are actually two different disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI allows adults who have worked in the past and accumulated enough “work credits” (based on taxable income) to receive disability benefits. SSI offers benefits to adults or children who are disabled or have limited income or resources.
What kind of disabilities qualify?
There are five basic categories of illnesses and injuries that qualify for SSDI. These include musculoskeletal problems (such as back injuries); cardiovascular problems (such as heart failure or coronary artery disease); respiratory problems (such as asthma or COPD); vision or hearing loss; and certain types of mental illnesses including dementia, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be disabled, blind or elderly (65 or older) and have little or no income.
Find out more about your eligibility.
Perhaps the best way to find out if you are eligible for disability benefits is to visit the Social Security Administration website. This site has detailed information to help you determine your eligibility as well as how to apply for benefits.