Arizona SSI/SSDI Benefits
Suffering a serious physical or mental disability that prevents you from working can be devastating, especially for primary wage earners who are depended upon by their loved ones to earn an income and support the family financially. Fortunately, there are federal and state disability programs in place that provide monthly benefits to individuals and their families in Arizona, when a severe disability renders them unable to work or earn an income. If you believe you may be entitled to cash payments from the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs, consult an experienced SSI/SSDI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly benefit paid to disabled individuals who have worked long enough and paid into the SSDI insurance system before becoming disabled. The federal SSDI benefits program is run by the Social Security Administration, and provides financial assistance to individuals who have a disability that meets the SSA’s definition of disability, and who, in the past, worked and paid (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) FICA taxes for a long enough time to qualify for benefits. There are no income limits or resource limits for SSDI benefits, and the amount you receive in monthly benefits is based on your Social Security earnings record. The SSDI program also offers monthly cash payments to family members, including widows and children, when a primary wage earner in the family becomes disabled or dies. After receiving SSDI benefits for two years, you automatically qualify for Medicare health coverage.
Supplemental Security Income
Similar to Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a disability benefits program run by the Social Security Administration. However, unlike SSDI, the federal SSI program was created to help individuals who are disabled, blind or elderly, are unable to work, have no other sources of income, and have limited resources. Individuals who qualify for SSI benefits receive monthly cash payments to help cover the cost of basic needs, like clothing, food and shelter. There are three groups of people who can qualify for SSI benefits:
- People who are 65 and older and have limited income and resources
- People older than 18, but younger than 65, with disabilities and limited income and resources
- Qualifying children and youth under 18 with disabilities
The biggest difference between SSDI and SSI benefits is that you do not have to have worked at all to qualify for SSI benefits. You must simply have a disability that prevents you from working, meet income and resource limits, and meet certain citizenship and residency requirements.
Arizona State Disability Programs
In Arizona, disabled individuals who qualify for SSI also receive Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) benefits, and many also receive Nutrition Assistance (formerly “Food Stamps”). AHCCCS is Arizona’s state-run Medicaid healthcare program, which pays medical expenses for individuals who are young, disabled, poor, elderly or pregnant. If you meet the requirements of Arizona’s AHCCCS program, you may be entitled to financial assistance for a variety of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs and home care services. Arizona’s Nutrition Assistance program is a county-run, federal program that helps people with low income pay for food.
Contact an Experienced SSI/SSDI Attorney Today
Under the federal SSI and SSDI programs, to meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, you must be able to produce medical reports showing that you have a severe mental or physical disability that prevents you from working, and the disability must be expected to last for at least a year or be expected to end in death. If you are unable to work or earn an income because of a severe disability, and you believe you may be eligible for SSI or SSDI disability benefits, contact a knowledgeable SSI/SSDI attorney today for legal help. With a qualified disability lawyer on your side, you can protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the benefits you and your loved ones are entitled to.