The kinds of disabilities or medical conditions that the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers serious enough include:
- Cardiovascular system disorder;
- Digestive system disorder;
- Endocrine system disorder;
- Genitourinary impairment;
- Hematological disorder;
- Immune system disorder;
- Impairments that affect multiple body systems;
- Malignant neoplastic disease;
- Mental disorder;
- Musculoskeletal system disorder;
- Neurological disorder;
- Skin disorder; and,
- Special senses and speech disorder.
America’s working group (whose jobs are covered by Social Security) and certain individuals whose disability is included in the list above or who has a health condition, which SSA would find very serious, may be eligible to receive cash benefits from any of the Federal government’s two largest programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) .
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are paid to insured members who are totally disabled. By “insured members,” it means individuals 65 years old or below, who have worked long enough or recently enough, and have earned the SSA-required number of credits through payment of Social Security taxes or Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes (four credits earned every year).
“Disabled,” on the other hand, refers to a type of total disability (including the conditions listed above) that: (i) renders an insured member incapable of performing his/her previous work or any other work; (ii) has lasted for a year or is likely to last for at least a year; and, (iii) can be expected to result in death.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, meanwhile, pays cash benefits to: disabled adults and disabled children (below 18 years old) who have limited income and resources; and, people 65 years old or older who may not have any disability, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR).
As explained by the Hankey Law Office, people suffering from short-term disability are not eligible to receive disability benefits from Social Security; they may receive the cash benefit from their personal insurance provider or, if their disability was sustained while working, from the Workers’ Compensation program.