Most people who make claims for disability benefits to the Social Security Administration (SSA) are workers who have contributed to the program through payroll taxes over the course of their adult life who have gotten seriously ill or hurt before they reached the age of retirement. They qualify for these benefits because they have paid into the program for years via payroll taxes.
However, there are some people who can qualify for certain benefits from the SSA without having paid a specific amount and taxes. There are secondary benefits available to those with lifelong disabilities that have kept them from working, those who left the workforce for personal reasons before contributing enough for standard SSDI benefits and even those who get SSDI but can’t survive on the very low amount of benefits they managed to accrue.
If you think that you might qualify for SSI or if you have a child with a physical or mental disability, your family will probably incur significant expenses as a result. While you or your child might not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits based on payroll contributions, it may be possible to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
SSI benefits help those who can’t work at all
Unlike SSDI, which helps protect those who acquire a condition later in life that prevents them from continuing a career, SSI benefits are available to anyone with a severe enough condition to prevent them from working. If you or your child have a diagnosed medical condition and meet certain financial qualifications, you may be able to receive SSI benefits.
SSI benefits can help families by replacing some of the wages that an injured/ill adult or parental caregiver can’t earn because they stay home. The benefits could help your family cover medical costs, assistive technology and other important forms of support for your family. This can be critical for working families adjusting to life supporting a family member with a disabling medical condition.
Adjusting to life with a serious medical condition or caring for someone with special needs can have lifelong financial implications for your family, so looking into all of your options for support, including SSI benefits, could help your family in this difficult situation.