SSDI and SSI Disability Programs

There are 2 different types of disability programs for those who are disabled SSDI and SSI

SSDI has two requirements.  1. You are disabled for at least 12 months or more. 2.  That prior to your disability you worked and paid into the FICA tax system or the self employment tax system.  Think of this contribution as the premium for the disability insurance.  In order to qualify the applicant must have worked 20 out of the last 40 quarters prior to disability.  A quarter is a quarter of the year.  The applicant does not have to work each day of the quarter, but the employment must be substantial. If you are concerned about the number of credits you have, you can obtain a copy o your work history from the Social Security Administration.  I also suggest that you put pencil to paper and record your dates of employment for the last 15 years. You may not have perfect recollection, but do your best.  When you have this complete, I can look at it and help assess whether you really do or do not have enough work credits to qualify.

SSI is for people who have not worked and contributed to the FICA tax system.  SSI has a number of restrictions and exemptions not attached to SSDI.  It also pays less.  If you are married and your spouse is earning more than say $35K a year, you probably will be disqualified for SSI.

If you are 58 and a widow (or widower), you can draw off your spouse’s earnings history.  If you were married for more than 10 years, are divorced and are 62 or older, you may get benefits based on the ex spouse’s earnings history.  Given all these  options, I encourage you to contact me to talk over the issues.

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