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A brief overview of Social Security disability options

Social Security options can be confusing but the good news is that there are different options available for disabled individuals. There are two primary types of benefits available to disabled individuals through the Social Security Administration. The two types of benefits that may be available are Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. There are different qualification requirements between the two programs which provide different options for disabled individuals.

During 2015, 10.8 million disabled individuals were receiving benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) program. SSD is considered an insurance program that provides disability benefits to individuals who have sufficient work history to qualify for benefits. The number of work years an individual needs to qualify for benefits depends on the age at which they are applying for SSD benefits.

Alternately, SSI benefits are available for disabled individuals who lack sufficient work history but because of limited income and resources may still qualify for disability benefits through a different program.

In addition, disabled individuals seeking SSD benefits must be suffering from a medical condition that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. Close-ended periods of disability may also be available so it is worthwhile for disabled individuals to be familiar with all of their options. In addition, the medical condition the disabled individual is suffering from must prevent them from performing meaningful work rendering them unable to work. The amount of disability benefits varies based on earnings history but averages around $1,165 a month for SSD benefits.

The application process for either type of benefits, both SSD and SSI, can be detailed so it is important to have a firm grasp of the process when seeking benefits. It is always worth it for disabled individuals to understand the different options that may be available to them and the details of those options.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Your 2016 Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits," Accessed July 17, 2016

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