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2 disability programs through the Social Security Administration

When you can't work because of a disability, you will still need a way to support yourself. There are two programs that administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are some stark differences between them so you should learn about these before you file your application.

One of the biggest differences is that Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is for people who have a specific number of credits from working. The number of credits depends on how much you have worked within a specified number of years, usually the last 10 years.

For the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, there are means and asset limitations. This program is for children and people who don't have the work history that is necessary for the SSDI program.

For both programs, the person who applying must have a disability that prevents him or her from having gainful employment. This means that they won't be able to support themselves through a regular job.

You mustn't think that the process of getting disability is a quick one. The process is often a hurry-up-and-wait situation wherein you apply for the benefits, wait for a letter telling you what to do and then follow those instructions. You might have to go to medical evaluations with the SSA's doctors to determine if you do have a severe disability.

Even if you should qualify, there is a chance that you will be denied. You need to look at this carefully. Read over all notifications. Strict time limits and processes exist for appealing the decisions that the SSA makes regarding your disability.

Source: The Motley Fool, "7 Things You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Benefits," Matthew Frankel, accessed June 13, 2018

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