What’s the difference between SSI and SSDI?

What is the difference between Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Many people who apply for disability benefits are not aware that there are two different types of benefits they could potentially qualify for. The biggest difference between the two is the fact that in order to get SSDI you have to have accumulated enough work credits in order to be eligible.  SSI is an income based disability program that is available for low income individuals who have never worked or do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.

Social Security Disability Claim document

 Am I eligible for SSI?

SSI is strictly a need-based program and is based on your household income and assets, your work history is not considered with SSI.  In order to meet the income requirements for SSI you must have less than $2000 in assets ($3000 for a couple) and a very limited income.

If you are approved for SSI, you will be eligible for Medicaid in the state you live it. You may also qualify for food stamps, which is also an income based program. The amount you received will depend on where you live, your household income, and the size of your household.

 Am I eligible for SSDI?

SSDI is funded through payroll taxes. In order to qualify for SSDI you have to have worked a certain number of years and have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund, these contributions are made by paying FICA taxes. You must be younger than 65 and have earned a certain number of work credits, if you are 31 or older, you must have worked at least 5 out of the last 10 years. If you are between 24 and 31, you must have worked at last half the time since turning 21. If you are under 24, you must have worked at least one and a half years in the three year period before your disability.

If you are approved for SSDI, you will be eligible for Medicare. You have to receive 24 payments from SSDI before the Medicare will go into effect. Our office provides a licensed insurance agent that can help you get enrolled with Medicare, when the time comes.

There is also a five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits. You will not be eligible for payments for the first five months after Social Security finds that you became disabled.

Contact our office today for a free evaluation to see what you may qualify for!