The federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs were created to help individuals with disabilities that prevent them from obtaining gainful employment, and though there are significant differences between SSI and SSDI, both programs provide critical financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work because of a severe disability. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a strict definition of disability, and only disabled individuals who meet the SSA’s medical criteria may be eligible for benefits under the SSI or SSDI programs. If you believe you are entitled to SSI or SSDI benefits because of a disability that prevents you from working in Utah, or if your disability application has been denied by the SSA, consult a knowledgeable SSI/SSDI disability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federally-funded program that pays monthly benefits to individuals with a severe physical or mental disability that prevents them from working and earning an income. SSDI pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning you have worked long and recently enough, and you paid Social Security taxes before becoming disabled. Under the SSDI program, the number of work “credits” you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you must have earned 40 work credits to be eligible for SSDI, 20 credits in the last ten years ending with the year you become disabled, although younger workers may qualify for SSDI with fewer credits.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal benefits program based on financial need that makes cash payments to disabled, aged or blind individuals with limited income and resources, to meet basic needs for clothing, food and shelter. Despite being administered by the Social Security Administration, the SSI program is funded from the U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust fund. One of the main eligibility requirements of SSI is that the individual’s income and resources (cash, bank accounts, vehicles, land, life insurance, personal property or anything else that could be converted to cash) must be below certain limits, which vary depending on the state in which the individual lives, his or her living arrangements, and the number of people living in the residence. As of 2017, SSI recipients are entitled to a maximum benefit amount of $735 per month for an individual, $1,103 per month for couples and $368 for an essential person.

An Experienced SSI/SSDI Lawyer Can Help

When you apply for benefits under the SSI or SSDI program, the SSA will collect medical and
other information from you and make a decision about whether or not you meet their definition of disability. Unfortunately, only about 36% of disability claims in Utah are approved by the SSA during the initial application stage, which means the majority of disabled individuals who apply for SSI or SSDI are forced to either give up their claim, file a new disability application, or begin the appeals process, which can drag on for months or even more than a year. If you are unable to work in Utah because of a severe physical or mental disability, contact an experienced Utah SSI/SSDI attorney today for legal help. With a knowledgeable lawyer on your side, you can significantly improve your chances of receiving the disability benefits you deserve.