Differences Between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income

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Differences Between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income

The Social Security Administration manages two programs that provide disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both programs offer benefits to people who satisfy the SSA’s definition of disabled, but there are some critical differences between the two programs.

Differences Between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security IncomeThe SSA uses the term “concurrent” to describe individuals who are eligible for benefits under both programs, but many people typically qualify for one or the other. The rules for eligibility are different for SSDI abs SSI, so it is essential for a person to make sure he or she is applying for the right program based on his or her situation.

If you need assistance with a long-term disability claim, it is in your best interest to contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP. Call (215) 858-8440 right now to have our firm review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.

Overview of SSDI and SSI Programs

In general, three significant differences distinguish the SSDI program from the SSI program:

  • Financial Requirements — Simply put, SSDI is an entitlement program while SSI is a means-tested program. SSDI is funded through payroll taxes, and applicants need to be younger than 65 and have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. SSI benefits, on the other hand, are entirely need-based and are funded by general taxes instead of the Social Security trust fund. SSI benefits have nothing to do with a person’s work history, but an applicant must have limited income and minimal assets.
  • Federal Medical Program Eligibility — Most SSI applicants become eligible for Medicaid as soon as they are approved to be SSI beneficiaries. With SSDI, disabled workers will automatically be covered under Medicare after receiving SSDI benefits for two years.
  • Benefits — The average benefits for SSDI are often higher than the average benefits for SSI. Furthermore, SSDI benefits can be higher than national averages because the benefits are based on a beneficiary’s work history and earning record, while SSI benefits may be reduced to less than the national average when an SSI beneficiary is receiving another income.

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, a person must have earned 20 or more quarters of coverage in the past ten years, while SSI beneficiaries are available to individuals 65 years of age or older or those who are disabled.

The SSA Red Book provides a helpful example of how concurrent benefits work. For most people, the SSA’s rules are very complicated and legal representation is often needed to make sure an application contains all of the necessary items to obtain benefits.

Find a Long-Term Disability Benefits Lawyer in Pennsylvania

If you need assistance filing for SSDI or SSI benefits, do not hesitate to contact Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP. Our firm helps people all over communities in the greater Philadelphia area and Delaware.

You can have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (215) 858-8440 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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