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SSD Vs. SSI in Oklahoma

The Social Security Administration offers two types of disability benefits — Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, or Social Security Income, or SSI. Though the SSA designed both benefits programs to assist disabled individuals, the eligibility requirements for the two programs are different. If you find yourself disabled and unable to work in Oklahoma, reach out to our social security disability lawyers at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to learn whether or not you qualify for SSDI or SSI and, if so, what you need to do to apply.

The Key Difference Between SSDI and SSI

The most notable difference between SSDI and SSI is how the SSA determines eligibility. When examining your social security disability insurance application, the SSA would look to your work history, just as it would do if you applied for social security retirement benefits. To qualify, you would have to have worked for a minimum number of hours. How many hours depends on your age when you became disabled. If you qualify, the SSA would then consider your income history and for how long you worked to determine the benefits to which you are entitled.

Qualifying for social security income is much easier. To qualify, you need only prove that your income and resources fall below a certain amount. If you can prove minimal resources, the SSA will approve you regardless of whether or not you have ever paid into the social security system.

Qualifying for SSDI

The SSA bases qualification for SSDI primarily on two factors — your disability and your work history. In terms of your medical condition, your disability should be one that is expected to last longer than one year and/or result in death. To make this determination, the SSA will seek to answer the following questions:

● Is your medical condition "severe"?

● Does it meet or equal the severity of a listed impairment?

● Can you do the work you did before becoming injured?

● Are you able to perform any other type of work?

If the SSA is satisfied with the answers it comes up with, it will then examine your work history. As for your work record, here is what the SSA looks for:

● If you were younger than 24 at the time of becoming disabled, did you work for at least one and a half years during the three years before becoming disabled?

● If you were between the ages of 24 and 30 at the time of becoming disabled, did you work at least half the time between the date of your 21 st birthday and the quarter in which you became disabled?

● If you were 31 or older when you became disabled, did you work at least five years during the 10-year period prior to becoming disabled?

If you satisfy the work history requirements, you may qualify for SSDI. However, what if you are still able to work but, because of your disability, cannot earn as much as you did prior to becoming disabled? In this case, the SSA would perform an earnings test. If you make more than $1,220 per month from work, you are technically not considered disabled and therefore, cannot qualify for SSDI. However, if you are blind, you can earn up to $2,040 a month before your earnings begin to affect your eligibility.

Qualifying for SSI

Qualification for SSI is dependent upon your resources. If your resources (or, more specifically, the things you own), are worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, you do not qualify for SSI. "Resources" includes most personal property, but it does exclude certain items, such as your primary home.

To qualify for SSI, you must also meet strict income requirements. You can earn up to $65 a month via side jobs and gigs, but for every dollar you earn beyond that, your SSI benefits will be reduced by the same amount.

Contact Our Oklahoma Social Security Disability Attorneys

If you or a loved one is unable to work because of a disability, or if you live with a diminished earning capacity because of your disability, you may qualify for either social security disability insurance or social security income. To learn more about eligibility requirements and how we can help you qualify for the benefits you need and deserve, contact Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker today.