If you have made the difficult decision to file for disability because you no longer have the capacity to work even a simple, entry-level job, you need to start the process by filing a disability application with Social Security.
When you call the toll free number or apply online, SSA will ask you if you want to file for Title II disability (SSDI), Title XVI Supplemental Security Income, or both.
I generally advise my clients to file for both. If it turns out that you own assets, or have household income over the SSI limits, Social Security will determine that you are not eligible for SSI and you can proceed with your SSDI case.
Generally speaking, SSDI is a more robust program in that your monthly benefit will likely be higher, you won’t have to worry about assets you own or household income disqualifying you and you will eventually be eligible for Medicare (as opposed to Medicaid, which is associated with SSI).
In order to qualify for SSDI, however, you have to be insured for these benefits. SSDI is, in fact, an insurance program – the premiums you pay arise from the payroll taxes you have contributed over the years. Continue reading →