A: You can apply for SSD through your local Social Security Administration office or via the Internet at www.ssa.gov. The first step is to review the Adult Disability Starter Kit, which answers common questions about how to apply for benefits and includes a worksheet explaining what information you will need to start the process. Once you have gathered the necessary information, you can fill out the application online to apply. You must also fill out an online disability report, which includes information about your disability, your treatment, your health care providers, and current medications.
A: Supplemental Security income (SSI) is not the same as Social Security disability (SSD). SSI is designed to pay a monthly benefit to people with limited income who are disabled, blind, or ages 65 or older. Many people who are eligible for SSI may also be entitled to receive SSD benefits. In fact, the application for SSI is also an application for SSD benefits and is administered by the Social Security administration. Unlike SSD benefits, SSI benefits are not based on work history. SSI benefits are financed by the U.S. Treasury (in other words personal, corporate, or other taxes). SSI benefits are not paid for by your contributions to Social Security through your employer, so there is no requirement that you “pay in to the system” to qualify for this benefit. In most states, a person who receives SSI benefits can also qualify for Medicaid health care coverage.