In our blog posts, we spend a lot of time telling you what Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI” or “disability benefits”) is and how you can qualify for benefits.
In today’s post, we want to point out a few things that SSDI is not.
Social Security Disability is Not….
- A Financial Fix for a Temporary Illness.
SSDI is not a relief system for partial or temporary disabilities or illness.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a severe condition that renders you totally disabled. That means you must be “severely disabled” according to the SSA’s definition of “disabled” —not according to your doctor’s definition or yours. And your disability must last, or must be expected to last 12 months.
To meet the SSA’s definition of “disabled” you must be able to prove that:
- You cannot do work that you did before;
- You cannot adjust to any other work because of your medical condition(s); and
- Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
If you are only partially disabled, you will not qualify.
- A Needs-Based Program.
Unlike Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) the disability benefits provided under the Social Security Disability Insurance program do not depend on your income.
Supplemental Security Income provides financial support for people —including those who are disabled—who have little to no income and very few resources. It provides supplemental income for people who have worked very little or never during their lifetime.
SSDI, on the other hand, is for people who have worked up to 15 years and who have paid into the federal social security tax system (the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or “FICA”).
SSDI benefits work like a disability insurance policy. Depending on how long you worked, and how much you paid into the system, if you become permanently disabled and qualify, you will receive cash payments.
- A Job Placement Program.
Another thing that SSDI is not, is a job placement program.
The SSDI program does not include any type of job placement and the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will not help you find a job that will accommodate your physical or mental limitations.
Although you can still work and get disability benefits, there are strict limits as to how much money you can make while receiving disability benefits. After all, SSDI is for people who are permanently disabled and cannot work full-time or on a consistent basis long enough to support themselves.
If you can work enough to meet the SSA’s definition of engaging in “substantial gainful activity,” you will be considered not disabled and not entitled to disability benefits.
SSDI is a federal benefits program for the permanently disabled. If you are unsure whether it is a program for your situation, contact experienced social security disability counsel.
Working Hard To Get You The Benefits You Deserve.
At Parmele Law Firm, we handle only social security cases and we work hard to get you the benefits you deserve. We have offices in Poplar Bluff, Rolla, St. Louis, St. Joseph, West Plains and other cities in Missouri, and in Overland Park, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita Kansas; as well as in Illinois, and Oklahoma. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Call us at 855-727-8625 or send us an e-mail today to set up your free appointment.