The Social Security Administration has two programs designed to help Americans who have suffered from debilitating injuries, illnesses or medical conditions that prevent them from maintaining gainful employment for at least a year. One of the programs, Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, is financed through workers who have paid into the program through payroll taxes.

The other program, the Supplemental Security Income program, or SSI, is designed for Americans who are in need of disability assistance but who have not paid into the SSDI program and who have limited income and assets.

While SSDI largely takes a worker’s previous work history and their payroll taxes into consideration, SSI is based on a person’s financial situation. In order to qualify for the SSI program, the victim must have less than $2,000 in cash or a combined $3,000 for a married couple. A victim’s home and car valued at under $4,500 is not included as a resource. Supplemental Security Income is also potentially available to those who are 65 years of age or older, and children who are blind or disabled.

The application process can appear to be long and daunting. It may be in your best interest to consider speaking with a legal professional to see whether your condition and financial situation qualify you for the Supplemental Security Income program. Although it is not designed to fully cover ones’ costs associated with your disability, it may be helpful in making ends meet while you fight to recover from your condition.