Many people may qualify as disabled, but don’t know how to apply for disability benefits. Just knowing the benefits are available is not enough – you have to go after them. For those living in California, three different forms of disability benefits are available.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers several disability benefit programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To apply for SSDI:
- Apply online, by phone, or in person. Be prepared to include supporting documents related to your life, education, work history, and medical condition.
- Eventually, an SSA caseworker will interview you in person or by telephone. You may provide information about your spouse and children, medical conditions, and a completed Medical and Job Worksheet-Adult.
- If your application is denied, you may appeal using the four levels of appeal available through the SSA.
Some people are eligible for additional benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSA also provides this benefit to people who qualify, including people who are age 65 or older or blind or disabled. The application process is similar to applying for SSDI. You submit an application for SSI benefits along with supporting documents. Also, you can apply online, by telephone, asking someone to help you apply, or visiting a local Social Security office.
The difference between SSI and SSDI is that SSI applicants are not required to have a certain number of work credits. That’s because SSI eligibility is income-based, while SSDI is based work history.
California Disability Benefits
Residents of California may be eligible for state disability benefits. The California State Disability Insurance program “provides short-term benefits to eligible workers who have a loss of wages when they are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.
The Employment Development Department of the State of California manages the state disability program. It is recommended that you apply at SSDI Online, rather than in paper form. As with other disability programs, you will need to provide backup documents for your application. Specifically, you will need your personal information, current employer’s contact information, and the last date on which you worked. After registering for an account with Benefit Programs Online, you may file a claim for California disability benefits.
Learn More About Applying for Disability Benefits
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.