If you live in New Jersey and need to pursue disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration, it is important to understand the differences between the two main types of disability benefit programs. Many people confuse Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income because the acronyms commonly used to reference them are so similar, but there are important distinctions between the two types.
Social Security administers two disability programs. Social Security pays disability benefits (SSD) to you and certain members of your family if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months or end in death. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays benefits using the same definition of disability but instead of work credits you must meet certain income and resource limitations. SSI is based on need.
In order to be disabled under the Social Security Act a claimant must demonstrate that you have a medically determinable impairment that is preventing you from performing any substantial gainful activity that exists in the national economy. This inability to work must have lasted a year, be expected to last a year or be expected to result in death. In short, it means that the claimant must demonstrate an inability to perform his/her past work and all other work as well.