If you are disabled, applying for disability benefits can provide you with much-needed monthly cash assistance. In the United States, there are several disability programs designed to provide you with aid every month. These programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and VA Disability Compensation.
SSDI provides financial assistance through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program provides benefits to qualifying disabled applicants who have worked long enough, recently enough, and paid Social Security taxes before becoming disabled. To be considered, you must meet the SSA’s definition of disability, and your disability must severely limit your ability to perform basic work-related activities.
You can complete a Social Security Disability application online, by phone, or at your local Social Security office. If you choose to complete your application in person, you can schedule an appointment with your local office to save time on your visit. To complete an application, you will need to gather information and documentation to support your application, including:
- Personal information, including your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and place of birth
- Personal information about your current or former spouses
- Information and documentation about your medical condition
- Information about your former work history
If you qualify for SSDI, you may also be eligible for SSI and Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides benefits to qualifying elderly and disabled citizens. SSI delivers additional benefits to low-income individuals who received SSDI or Social Security benefits. The amount you receive will depend on your income, resources, and the state you live in, as some states provide additional help. You can apply for benefits through the online SSI client portal, by phone, or at your local Social Security office.
You may qualify for the VA Disability Compensation program if you have a VA disability rating of at least 10 percent and you:
- Served in active duty, inactive duty training, or active duty for training
- You have a current injury or illness that affects your body or mind
And at least one of the following:
- You had an injury or illness before your service, and serving worsened the injury or illness
- You were injured or got sick while serving
- Your disability injury or illness is related to your active-duty service but did not appear until after you left the service
When calculating VA disability benefits, the VA will provide monthly benefits based on your VA disability rating and whether you have a spouse or dependent child. You can submit your application for help online, by mail, or in person at your local VA regional office.
If you are denied benefits from any of these programs and believe you qualify for benefits, disability claim lawyers can help you with the appeal process.