Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits complex requirements and navigating through to the best solution for you and your loved ones can difficult without expert help. SSDI or SSI? The difference can be confusing to many people since they aren’t aware what they may be eligible for.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Even though the agency is mostly known for its retirement and disability benefits, they also award survivor benefits, as well.
Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income(SSI) are programs that are supposed to help the disabled. Even though the difference might not be apparent, SSDI is only available to workers who have accumulated a specific number of work credits. These credits can be earned by working a job that withholds payroll taxes to pay into the SSDI system.
In comparison, SSI is available to people who have limited or no income. Those that qualify haven’t had the opportunity to work because of their conditions, which is why they weren’t able to accumulate enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. Although most people are unable to identify the differences between the two programs, they are indeed fundamentally different.
However, when it relates to medical screening that confirms whether you’re eligible for SSI or SSDI, these two programs are largely the same. Medical screenings are done the same way and if you meet the definition of being medically disabled, you would qualify for the program that you are eligible for.
The SSA uses a Blue Book in every case to assist them in determining whether the applicant is eligible or not. The Blue Book is a listing of many of the most severe impairments that can tell the SSA whether you have a disabling condition or not. However, even if your disability isn’t listed in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for SSDI or SSI.
Let’s start with the basics.
Supplemental Security Income(SSI)
The Supplemental Security Income program is essentially need-based. This program is funded by the collection of taxes and is based on being medically disabled AND meeting certain income and assets limitations.
If you’re trying to qualify for SSI, you need to have less than $2,000 worth of assets (for couples it’s $3,000) and have essentially no income. Since people can still get sick even after receiving SSI, the SSA allows these people to take full advantage of the Medicaid program in the state they live in as soon as they are approved. Not only can these people get medical benefits through the Medicaid program and monetary benefits from the SSI program, but they can also get food stamps.
But with that being said, what you get from the SSA also depends on how much you’re receiving. Even if you’ve qualified by being below the $2,000 mark, you’d still receive benefits based on your income and the assets you own. As such, there may be offsets to the monthly amount you receive given certain income and any other assistance you are receiving from family or friends (cash, food, shelter, etc.)
Interestingly enough, it is more common for females to get SSI benefits (79%) rather than males (71%). The reason likely is that it is more common for females to have fewer working years because of family obligations, and as such they are less likely to qualify for SSDI, so the SSI policy what they are often required to resort to. According to research, 60% of men can say that they’ve worked for every year in their life, while only 41% of females can make the same claim.
To learn more about your rights under the Social Security Disability laws, call our FREE Disability Hotline at 1-866-4-MY-SSDI (469-7734) to speak with one of our friendly disability rights advocates who, will evaluate your claim in 60 seconds or less or fill out our FREE Disability Case Assessment form once they obtain all the required information. Thereafter, one of our representatives will contact you immediately.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
The SSDI program is completely funded through the payroll taxes the program collects. As much as you’d like to think that you can qualify for SSDI by working any job – that is not necessarily true. According to the SSA, you can only qualify for SSDI if you’ve worked a job that is covered by the Social Security system. Because these individuals have worked for a specific amount of time, they’re considered insured.
If these people have a certain number of work credits and are younger than the age of 65, they can qualify for SSDI. Additionally, after these folks have continued to receive SSDI for two years, they can become eligible for Medicare, too. Additionally, the spouse and the children of the person covered by SSDI can also receive disability benefits but they are only partial in nature. However, in the SSDI system, there is a 5-month waiting period that every applicant has to go through before they can start receiving their benefits.
If you are disabled and your long-term disability is a hindrance in your ability to work and make a living for your family, you should think of applying for disability benefits. Your disability attorney will collect the documents you have and start preparing your claim.
Here at Kahn and Associates we take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not require any payment unless they are successful in securing benefits for you.
To learn more about your rights under the Social Security Disability laws, call our FREE Disability Hotline at 1-866-4-MY-SSDI (469-7734) to speak with one of our friendly disability rights advocates who, once they obtain all the required information, will evaluate your claim in 60 seconds or less. Alternatively, you can fill out our FREE Disability Case Assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you immediately.