What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are both federal programs in the United States that provide financial assistance to individuals with disabilities. Both have similar medical and functional disability criteria, application processes, and associated health insurance programs; however, they do have some significant differences that you should be aware of before you decide to apply.

Eligibility for SSDI and SSI

SSDI is designed for insured disabled individuals who have already paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. You must have a disability or condition that is expected to last for one year or more, and, if approved, you will become eligible for benefits five months after the date you became disabled or one year prior to your date of application; whichever date is later.

SSI, on the other hand, is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to disabled, blind, or elderly individuals (65 or older) who have limited income and resources, regardless of his or her work history. In order to receive SSI disability benefits, you must meet SSA’s definition of “disabled” and also meet the income and asset limits set by the Social Security Administration. This program uses a Protective Filing Date (PFD) system to determine the date of eligibility, which means the benefits are considered to begin on the date you declare your intention to file an application, as long as SSA feels you were disabled at that time.

Funding and Benefits for These Programs

SSDI benefits are funded through the Social Security Trust Fund, which is financed by payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers. Because SSDI is an insurance program, the amount of benefits given is based on your earning history up to this point.

SSI benefits are set each year by federal and state guidelines and may vary depending on income, living situations, and other factors. The monthly benefit amount is determined annually by Congress; however, some states may provide additional financial support.

SSDI beneficiaries may become eligible for Medicare and SSI beneficiaries may become eligible for Medicaid, which is a program for low-income individuals.

Documentation to Provide

In both programs, you will need to provide some personal and identifying information. As an SSDI applicant, you will need to provide your work and earnings history, as well as your recent wage information.

With an SSI application, you will also need to provide an explanation of your living arrangements, assets, and personal resources. An SSI application lawyer can work with you to understand exactly what is needed in these documents.

An appeals process is also available if your application to either program is denied.

Talk to a Disability Benefits Attorney About Applying for Either SSDI or SSI

Despite the similar name, there are some notable differences between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Seeking legal assistance could significantly help you navigate the complex application process and increase your odds of securing the benefits you deserve. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation with the team at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law