Disability Law

It is estimates that a twenty-year-old worker in the U.S. has a 30 percent chance of becoming disabled before he/she reaches the age of retirement. Disability law and the SSA pays disability benefits through two different programs designed to provide financial assistance to disabled or blind persons that are unable to work.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a Federal program designed to supplement the funds of disabled Americans with low income and limited resources. The program provides economic assistance for basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. The program is funded through general tax funds, not social security taxes.

In order for an injured person to qualify for SSI benefits, he or she must meet the financial and living requirements assigned by the SSA. To be eligible for SSI benefits a person must be a bling or disabled adult, 65 or over or a blind or disabled person under 18:

The SSA includes the income and assets of a disabled person when considering eligibility for benefits. If the person is married, they will consider the income of the spouse as well. Some of the resources or assets that the SSA takes into account when considering someone for SSI eligibility include cash, real estate, bank accounts, investments, and other investments.

In the case of a disabled child, the SSA will not include a portion of the wages earned by the student or scholarships received. The child must suffer from a condition that seriously limits his or her activities and the condition must last or be expected to last twelve months or more or end in death. The SSA regards some medical conditions so sever and debilitating that they will make immediate payments for up to six months if a child is afflicted with any of the following conditions.

  • HIV infection
  • Complete blindness
  • Complete deafness
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Severe mental retardation in a child seven years of age or older
  • Extremely low birth weight (less than two pounds, 10 ounces)

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI pays disability benefits through payroll taxes collected by Social Security from employers and employees. A worker is eligible for SSDI as an insured worker through the Social Security program if he or she has paid into FICA taxes. As a worker pays into these taxes, he/she earns social insurance credits. A disabled person must meet certain criteria outlined by the SSA in order to qualify for disability benefits.