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Understanding the differences between SSI and SSDI

Are you unable to work because of a debilitating injury or medical issue? When medical problems preclude you from holding gainful employment in Georgia, it can be a threat to your financial well-being, but it is possible that you could be eligible for certain benefits. Individuals who are unable to work because of a physical injury, medical condition or mental issue could be eligible for one of two types of disability benefits available through the Social Security Administration.

The two types of benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The one for which you may be eligible depends on your financial situation and other factors. If you believe that you may have a rightful claim to either SSDI or SSI, you would be wise to start by seeking a complete evaluation of your case.

The right benefits for you

The intent of either type of benefits is the support of individuals who are physically or mentally unable to work. However, there are differences in eligibility requirements. In order to understand the right type of disability benefits for you, it can be helpful to know the following about each type:

  • SSDI: These benefits are available to individuals who have a qualifying medical condition expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death. You must also have a valid work history. If you did not pay into Social Security while you were working, you are not eligible for SSDI.
  • SSI: These types of benefits do not depend on an individual's work history, but rather are connected to financial need. They are available to certain people with low income who are older than 65, blind or unable to work. Payments differ from person to person, based on the applicant's income and financial resources.

Understanding eligibility requirements can be helpful as you navigate the road of seeking disability benefits. This is not an easy path, and some initial claims come back denied, but you do not have to walk through the application process alone.

When you can't work, don't give up hope

You may feel hopeless when you cannot work, but there are options available to you. You could have a rightful claim to benefits, which could help you take care of your basic needs when you are unable to work.

The process of actually obtaining benefits can be complex and frustrating, but you may find it useful to seek legal guidance as you work for a beneficial outcome to your situation.

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