When it comes to disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has two programs available:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Even though both programs are meant to help people with disabilities get financial support, they have critical differences.
SSDI: Eligibility and Benefits
SSDI is a government program that benefits individuals who have had a job and paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years but can no longer work owing to a disability. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked for at least ten years and paid Social Security taxes. The amount of your benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings and is changed every year to account for inflation.
Your monthly benefit amount is not based on financial need, and you can earn income from other sources without affecting your benefit amount. You can also receive Medicare coverage after receiving SSDI benefits for two years. However, if you get other disability benefits, like workers’ compensation or state disability benefits, your monthly benefit will be reduced.
SSI: Eligibility and Benefits
SSI is a government program that provides financial assistance to those with limited income and resources who cannot work due to a disability. To be eligible for SSI, you must have limited income and resources, and your disability must have stopped you from working for twelve months or more.
Your monthly benefit sum is based on your financial need and is adjusted annually for inflation. You cannot earn more than a certain amount of income per month or have more than a certain amount of assets without affecting your benefit amount. You will also receive Medicaid coverage in most states immediately upon approval.
Choosing the Right Program
Deciding which program to apply for depends on your circumstances. For example, if you have held a job and paid Social Security taxes for a minimum of ten years, and your disability prevents you from working, then you may be eligible for SSDI. On the other hand, SSI may be a better option if you need more work credits or if your income and resources are limited.
It is important to note that you can apply for both programs simultaneously. If you are qualified for both, your SSI benefit will offset some of your SSDI benefits.
Consulting a Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney
If you are considering applying for disability benefits through the SSA, it is essential to understand the differences between SSDI and SSI. Contact Stephen H. Hagler, LLC to schedule a consultation and determine which program suits you best. Our experienced disability attorneys can help guide you through the application process and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Posted on behalf of Stephen H. Hagler, LLC