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Social Security Disability benefits are monthly payments that support individuals who cannot work a full-time job and have a disability. There are two different SSA programs that pay disability benefits. Those programs are  Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

​Although both programs use the same basic definition of “disability,” there are fundamental differences between the programs. The benefits and qualifying requirements differ. The biggest difference is that SSI benefits require financial need. SSI benefits are for those with a disability, but who did not pay into the government system.

social security disability benefits


Social Security Disability, on the other hand, is the program that pays monthly benefits to people who have a disability, work, and pay taxes.  Many people confuse these two programs. This is easy to do because you can receive payments from both programs at the same time.  For example, if you worked for 20 years, became disabled, but you worked at a low paying job, your monthly benefit amount under SSD may be low enough that you also qualify for SSI benefits. Your financial eligibility for SSI can depend on the state in which you live.

The main thing to understand about the programs is that when you apply for disability benefits, you are applying for both types of benefit.  The SSA will determine if you are not financially eligible for SSI.  They will also determine, under their rules, if you are eligible and are disabled for SSD.  Eligibility for benefits begins when you apply for benefits.  If you do not apply, you are not eligible and you cannot go back in time and receive past benefits.  Many people think that if they apply, even five years after they stop working, due to d the SSA will pay them for the entire time they have been off work.  This is simply not true.


Supplemental Security Income begins on the date of application if one is found disabled. Under the SSD application, the most a person can receive in past-due benefits are payments one year prior to their application date. You can only receive past due benefits if were not working one year prior to applying. You also have to qualify for disability benefits during that past period of time.

No matter what type of benefit you are eligible for, you can receive nothing unless you apply.  Therefore, if you become disabled and are no longer working, the sooner you apply the better off you will be.  Contact Cannon Disability Law and let us help you today. You can find out more about your legal team on this website. Dianna Cannon has been practicing disability law for over 30 years. Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of cases in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and California. Andria Summers has over 20 years of experience helping claimants win disability benefits. Our representatives know the law.  We have won over $100 million in disability benefits for our clients. Contact us today to hire a disability attorney with experience.

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