Social Security Administration

SSDI vs. SSI: What’s the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income?

There are two types of disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The two programs are different and knowing which one you qualify for is important for ensuring you get the financial support you need. In this article, we cover SSDI vs. SSI to help you understand which program is right for you.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. It is designed to offer income support to those who have a significant work history and have contributed to the Social Security system through payroll taxes.

What is Supplemental Security Income?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides monthly payments to individuals who have a disability, are blind, or over the age of 65. To qualify, individuals must have some level of income, yet fall under a financial limit.

SSDI vs. SSI: What are the differences?

Understanding the distinctions between SSDI vs. SSI is crucial for individuals seeking disability benefits. While both programs provide financial assistance, their eligibility requirements, funding sources, benefit amounts, and healthcare coverage differ significantly. Here, we explain the key differences between the two programs.

1. Eligibility requirements

SSDI: To qualify for SSDI, individuals must have a work history and have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. Generally, a certain number of work credits is required, which is based on the individual’s age at the time of disability onset.

SSI: SSI is a needs-based program that provides benefits to individuals with limited income and resources, regardless of their work history. Eligibility is based on financial need, considering income, assets, and living arrangements.

2. Funding source

SSDI: The funding for SSDI comes from Social Security taxes paid by workers and their employers. Individuals qualify for benefits based on their work history and contributions to the Social Security system.

SSI: SSI is funded by general tax revenues and not by Social Security taxes. Eligibility for SSI is based solely on financial need and not on work history or contributions to Social Security.

3. Benefit amounts

SSDI: Benefit amounts under SSDI are based on the individual’s average lifetime earnings before the disability occurred. The longer an individual has worked and earned a higher income, the higher their SSDI benefit amount will be.

SSI: SSI benefits are set at a standard federal rate, which can vary annually. The amount may be supplemented by state programs or other forms of assistance. SSI benefits are typically lower than SSDI benefits due to the means-tested nature of the program.

4. Medicare and Medicaid

SSDI: Individuals who receive SSDI benefits are eligible for Medicare after a waiting period of 24 months. Medicare provides health insurance coverage to individuals with disabilities and certain medical conditions.

SSI: Eligibility for SSI automatically qualifies individuals for Medicaid benefits in most states. Medicaid offers healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and can provide comprehensive medical services beyond what Medicare offers.

5. Retroactive benefits

SSDI: SSDI allows for retroactive benefits to be paid up to 12 months before the application date, as long as the individual meets the disability requirements during that period.

SSI: SSI benefits are not retroactive. Payments generally begin from the month of application.

SSDI vs. SSI: Which one is right for you?

By understanding the nuances of SSDI vs. SSI, you can better determine which program is applicable to your situation. However, this article provides general information. If you have questions about which program is right for you, we recommend consulting a knowledgeable Social Security attorney or representative that can provide further guidance.

Filing for Social Security Disability in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce or Vero Beach?

Talk to us about your claim. Call 866-930-6435.

While our firm only represents individuals who have been denied Social Security disability benefits or VA disability benefits, we can guide you to organizations or resources that can help with your application process.

Denied Social Security Disability in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce or Vero Beach?

Let us handle the appeal process for you. Call 866-930-6435.

At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our Port St. Lucie Social Security Disability lawyers have successfully appealed hundreds of denied Social Security Disability claims. We know how important it is to get government benefits as soon as possible. That’s why we will handle the appeal process for you and fight to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Speak with one of our Social Security Disability attorneys today. Call 866-930-6435 now.

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