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Do I Choose Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income?

Do I Choose Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income?

Many people wonder which disability benefits program they should choose. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides two programs, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Each program has specific eligibility criteria that can make the difference in which program you are given. Talk to a Philadelphia disability attorney if you have questions about how these programs work.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are two different government programs that offer disability benefits. Unlike SSI, SSDI is based on employer and worker Social Security taxes. These are measured by work credits.

A certain number of work credits accumulated by multiple years of work are required for someone to be eligible for SSDI. Without enough work credits, the person will not have enough paid into Social Security to qualify for SSDI. Other eligibility criteria for SSDI include:

  • Meeting the definition of a disabilityDo I Choose Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income?
  • Unable to perform substantial gainful activity
  • Medical evidence supports the disability

Meeting the SSA definition of a disability means there is a physical or mental health condition that impairs work performance. This condition must be expected to last at least one year or lead to an early death. Medical documents and evidence must support these criteria.

Impairment of work performance is partially determined by measuring substantial gainful activity. The person must not be earning more than a certain amount of income a month. This monthly income changes each year.

SSDI benefits are paid monthly to cover basic living expenses. Be wary that SSDI benefits may not start right away. The process can take up to five months. Medicare health insurance benefits are provided with SSDI after two years. If you have questions, then consider contacting a Philadelphia disability lawyer for more information.

Supplemental Security Income

Unlike SSDI, the SSI program is based on monthly income instead of work credits. If someone does not qualify for SSDI due to a lack of work credits, then SSI can be another option for disability benefits. The eligibility criteria for SSI include:

  • Making under the certain monthly income
  • Low financial assets
  • Meeting the definition of a disability
  • The disability impairs work performance

SSI was originally designed to provide financial assistance to those aged 65 or older. More recently, the SSI program has been provided to those with disabilities. General revenues are the primary source of money for this program. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you could qualify for the SSI program.

Compared to SSDI, Medicaid health insurance is provided right away with SSI benefits. This can significantly help with ongoing medical bills and other expenses from the disability. Ultimately, you may not always have complete control over choosing SSDI or SSI depending on your work credits and other eligibility criteria.

Contact Edelstein & Nelson Today

You may not have to go through the complex disability benefits application process alone. Ask a Philadelphia individual disability insurance lawyer about your options for disability insurance. Start by contacting Edelstein & Nelson by dialing (800) 300-0909 for a consultation today about your disability benefits situation. Our team of attorneys might be able to help you improve your chances of receiving disability benefits.