Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) is a Federally administered social welfare program which provides a monthly cash income benefit to disabled individuals who have either individually or through a relationship with another obtained “insured” status under the Social Security program. In most cases a SSDI check will also entitle that individual to Federal Social Security Medical Insurance coverage, or Medicare benefits.
Assuming all conditions precedent to receiving a check are met, Disability Insurance Benefits can be paid up to twelve months prior to the applicant’s case filing. Quite briefly the SSDI programs are as follows:
DISABLED INSURED WORKERS’ INSURANCE: To qualify for this benefit program a person must have worked and paid into Social Security twenty out of the past forty quarters before he or she became disabled.
WIDOW/WIDOWER & SURVIVING DIVORCED SPOUSE DISABILITY CASES: An applicant for this benefit must prove disability under Social Security’s standard within 7 years following the death of his or her insured spouse-also known as the ‘prescribed period’.
DISABLED ADULT CHILD BENEFIT: These benefits are available to the disabled adult child of a fully insured worker who is now either deceased or receiving a Social Security retirement or disability check.
Supplemental Security Income, or ‘SSI’, is truly a needs based disability cash assistance program of last resort. If one has any source of income, property or other resource he or she can use or liquidate to provide a minimum level of subsistence he or she will not qualify for the program.
Supplemental Security Income benefit payments will be made to those disabled individuals who have not worked or worked long enough to otherwise qualify for SSDI or any other public or private disability program, including state or federal Workers’ Compensation payments. The basic purpose of SSI is to provide a minimum level of income to disabled persons who otherwise have limited income and resources. Generally if one has more than $3,000 in countable resources he or she will not see a SSI check.
An SSI application has no retroactive effect–such benefits will be paid, at the earliest, the first full month following the proper filing of an SSI application. However, unlike SSDI cases, there is no waiting period on a SSI case.
Supplemental Security Income provides a monthly cash benefit only. Federal health care coverage, such as Medicare, is not part of the SSI program. However–entitlement to a Supplemental Security Income cash benefit will in most cases entitle such recipient to state sponsored medical benefits coverage-Medicaid.
Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program also provides disabled minor children (i.e. those under age 18) with a monthly cash benefit check. However, the rules as to what constitutes disability under the child program are quite different.
A child must prove that he or she has a mental or physical impairment (or combination of both) that produces ‘marked and severe functional limitations’. This level of severity can be established by the child showing that his or her condition:
MEETS OR EQUALS A “LISTING”: The child’s medical findings and diagnostic testing fully meet or functionally equal one or more of the medical listings established for children under the Social Security program; or
CAUSES ‘MARKED OR SEVERE IMPAIRMENT’ IN ONE OR MORE LISTED DOMAINS: A child’s proven inability to adequately perform on a function-by-function basis in certain described domains established by SSI will entitle said child to benefits under the program.
When considering the severity of a child’s case the decider will compare said child’s condition with that of an unimpaired child of like age. As with all SSI cases income and resource limitations apply which could reduce or even eliminate an otherwise qualified child from receiving a benefit check.