The Social Security Disability Insurance Program has provided cash benefits to people with disabilities for over 50 years. It is comprised of two separate disability grants; the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Together these grants form the major income replacement aid in the public sector for people with disabilities.
If you were injured and were under-insured at the time you could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This insurance plan pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. You do not have to have paid the amount that you will receive but you do have to have been paying into a fund. If you had private insurance but were perhaps under-insured for the disability aid that you need, the government then contributes funds to cover the difference in costs. This money is usually about the same amount of money they earned in their job previous to being injured and is distributed by the government in a similar fashion to private insurance companies.
On the other hand if you were injured and were uninsured at the time, the Supplemental Security Income is the grant for you. Unlike the SSDI, which is funded by social security taxes, this grant program is funded by general tax revenues. This grant money is there to help people who are aged, blind, disabled, or who have little or no income. And while perhaps not as large a grant fund as the SSDI, the Supplemental Security Income provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
So that everyone can see just how beneficial these grant programs are, below are some highlights of the Disability Insurance Program from 2008:
- Disability benefits were paid to over 8.5 million people.
- Awards to disabled workers (877,226) accounted for about 89 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (987,525).
- In December, payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled more than $8.6 billion.
- Benefits were terminated for 563,314 disabled workers.
- Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about 1 out of 6 disabled beneficiaries.
Applying for a disability grant is much the same as applying for other grants or forms of financial aid. Although the applicant is injured, it is important to take the time to fill out the application papers correctly, so as not to cause unnecessary delays. A small error in the forms could mean 6 months of waiting time and perhaps even grant refusal. Which is why getting a helping hand is often recommended. Having someone familiar with the system and the application process can speed things right along. Don’t let your entitlement pass you by.