Massachusetts SSI/SSDI Disability Benefits

Federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are benefits programs funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provide benefits to eligible individuals with disabilities that prevent them from working. If you live in Massachusetts, and you are unable to work because of a severe physical or mental disability, you may be eligible for monthly Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Contact a knowledgeable SSI/SSDI disability lawyer today to file a disability application with the Social Security Administration, or to discuss your options for appealing a denied disability claim.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly benefits to individuals who become disabled before reaching retirement age, and who have worked and paid into Social Security long enough to be considered “insured,” meaning they are eligible for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has a strict definition of disability, and in order to qualify for SSDI benefits, an individual must suffer from a severe disability that prevents him from working and that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. The number of work “credits” you need for SSDI benefits depends on your age when you become disabled, but in general, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you became disabled.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) differs from SSDI in that it’s a cash assistance program providing monthly benefits to certain disabled, blind and elderly individuals with little income and resources, to cover the cost of basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. The SSI program is funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes, and unlike SSDI, the payment of Supplemental Security Income benefits is not based on the disabled individual’s work history. Rather, it’s based on income and the individual’s living arrangement. In 2017, the maximum monthly federal benefit amounts for SSI are $735 for an eligible individual and $1,103 for an eligible couple.

Massachusetts State Supplement Program

Massachusetts also has a State Supplement Program (SSP) in place that provides an additional monthly payment to SSI recipients who live in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts State Supplemental Program is administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and the state supplement payments are sent to SSP clients directly, separate from the SSI payments administered by the federal government.

Contact a Qualified SSI/SSDI Disability Lawyer for Help

Applying for disability benefits can be a complicated process, and statistics show that only a small percentage of Massachusetts disability claims are approved during the initial application process. If your SSI or SSDI disability application is denied by the Social Security Administration, you can begin the appeals process, but it can sometimes take up to a year for an SSI or SSDI claimant to appear before an Administration Law Judge (ALJ) in a disability hearing, which means you could be without the benefits you deserve for a long period of time. If you are unable to work in Massachusetts because of a severe physical or mental disability, and you believe you may be eligible for disability benefits, contact a knowledgeable SSI/SSDI attorney today to explore your legal options.