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What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

Understanding more about these benefits can help you decide if you should apply for one — or both — types

What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

In the world of Social Security benefits, there are so more acronyms that even experienced professionals may have trouble remembering all of them. Yet making sense of them is critical to understanding your rights, and your ability to apply for benefits.

If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, a Social Security benefits lawyer can work with you to help you through the process. In the meantime, you can learn more about these types of benefits and whether you may qualify for one or both types.

SSDI is a disability benefits program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). To be eligible, an individual must be considered disabled (under SSA’s definition) and must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security. Finally, an applicant must be unable to work for a year or more due to their disability.

For SSDI, you are disabled if (1) you cannot do the work that you did before; (2) you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and (3) your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death. A five-step sequential evaluation is used by the SSA to determine if an applicant is disabled. An individual must qualify at each step in order to move forward to the next step.

SSDI benefits are funded through payroll taxes. If a person qualifies for SSDI, they will receive a payment every month.

In contrast, SSI is a needs-based program that requires applicants to be disabled, blind or aged 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also qualify. In addition, applicants must also have limited income and assets to qualify. Like SSDI, SSI is administered by the SSA.

There are strict limits on the resources that you can own to qualify for SSI if you are age 18 or older. For individuals or children, you must have $2,000 or less in resources; for couples, the limit is $3,000. An individual also must have a limited income to be eligible for SSI. As of January 2019, the monthly income must not exceed $771 for an individual or child or $1,157 for a couple.

SSI is paid for by the general funds of the U.S. Treasury. Recipients of SSI can typically also receive medical assistance (Medicaid), and may be eligible for other benefits. SSI benefits are paid on the first of the month, on a monthly basis.

Many people who are eligible for SSI benefits may also be entitled to SSDI benefits. However, people who qualify for SSDI benefits usually are not eligible for SSI benefits, as they are limited to individuals who are disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old and who have limited resources and assets.

In comparison to SSDI applicants, individuals who apply for SSI do not have to prove that they worked in certain jobs to be eligible. Instead, individuals just need to prove that they meet the requirements to qualify for SSI benefits.

The medical standards for disability are generally the same for individuals aged 18 or older for SSI and SSDI. However, applicants for SSI do not have to prove that they are unable to work because of their disability.

While children with disabilities are eligible for SSI benefits, only adults can receive SSDI benefits. However, dependents may receive SSDI benefits in certain circumstances.

If you believe that you may qualify for disability benefits, working with a Social Security benefits lawyer can help to increase the likelihood of a successful application. The attorneys of PLBSH are experienced at all phases of Social Security disability benefits applications. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or info@plbsh.com to schedule a consultation about your potential claim.

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