Florida Disability Benefits: Determining Your Eligibility for Social Security Disability
If you are disabled, you are likely wondering whether your condition qualifies for Social Security disability benefits or not. There are two types of Social Security benefits, Social Security Disability (SSDI), which is based on work credits, and Social Security Income (SSI), which is for low-income applicants. To start, you must show you qualify for medical disability. Secondly, you will need to show you have enough work credits for SSDI, or your assets and income must fall below a certain threshold for SSI. To learn more about qualifying for Social Security, contact an Orlando Social Security Disability benefits lawyer.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSDI)
Social Security work credits are based on your self-employment income or your total yearly wages, with up to four credits given for each year. The total amount of needed credits will change from year to year. In 2021, you are given one credit for each $1,470 you earn. Once you reach $5,880, you’ve earned your four credits for 2021. The amount you need will also depend on your age at the time of disability.
In most cases, you will need 40 credits; 20 of those will need to be earned in the last ten years, with the final year being the one where your disability started. In some cases, some younger workers might qualify with less credits.
Your medical disability has to be total. There is no short-term or partial disability under SSDI benefits. That means to be considered disabled under the Social Security Administration’s eligibility guidelines, you:
- Cannot do the same work as before because of your disability;
- Cannot do other work because of your disability; and
- Your condition has lasted a year or is expected to last for at least one year, or your condition will result in death.
If you meet the work credit qualifications, the SSA asks five questions to help determine your eligibility. These questions are:
- Are you currently working?
- Is your condition considered “severe”?
- Is your condition included on the list of the SSA’s disabling conditions?
- Can you do the work you previously were doing?
- Are you able to do any other type of work?
Qualifying for SSI Benefits (SSI)
SSI eligibility requirements differ from SSDI. You must be 65 or over, blind, or disabled. Plus, you must:
- Have limited income and resources;
- Be a U.S. citizen or national, or a member of certain categories of aliens;
- A resident of one of the 50 states, D.C., or the Northern Mariana Islands;
- Not confined to an institution (like a prison or hospital) at the government’s expense;
- Not absent from the United States for a full calendar month or for 30 consecutive days or more;
- Apply for other cash payments or benefits you are eligible for, such as Social Security benefits;
- Give SSA permission to contact financial institutions and request your records;
- And more.
Your finances also play a crucial role in SSI benefits. Currently, the SSI limits are $2,000 for individuals or a child, or $3,000 for a couple. SSA looks at items like cash, bank accounts, vehicles, land, personal property, life insurance, and any other items you own that could be liquidated and turned into cash to cover shelter or food.
Contact an Orlando Social Security Disability Lawyer
To learn more about eligibility requirements and whether your case might qualify, contact the Law Offices of Shea A. Fugate, P.A. We have years of experience handling Social Security disability cases. Let us review your case and help you determine the best course of action.