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What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

Filing an SSDI Claim

Because they are both overseen by the Social Security Administration, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are two programs that are often confused. However, outside of the fact that they are overseen by the SSA, these programs don’t have very much in common. If you’re not sure which program you qualify for and how you can meet your financial obligations every month, asking a few simple questions will help you figure out which program suits you.

Need help with your SSI or SSDI case? The Dansby Law Firm is here for you. Call us at 334-834-7001 to schedule a consultation now.

Who They Serve

Both programs serve disabled individuals. However, SSDI is limited to recipients who are younger than 65 years of age. SSI is open to disabled individuals, as well as those who are blind or elderly.

While both programs serve disabled individuals, there are significant differences in income restrictions. SSDI requires that an individual have a certain number of work credits. In general, an applicant must have at least 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the 10 years prior to your disability.

SSDI is an entitlement program, so you do not have to be below a specific income level to qualify. You do, however, need to have paid into it by earning a sufficient amount of work credits.

SSI, in comparison, is only open to those who meet strict financial requirements. It is meant to help low-income individuals, or married couples meet basic needs like food and shelter. SSI is not an entitlement program—it is a need-based program that requires each recipient to be means-tested. An individual who has lots of funds or high-value assets, a standard job that pays a livable amount, or receives SSDI is unlikely to meet the means test for SSI payments.

How Much They Pay

Due to the differences in whom they serve and which types of programs they are, SSI and SSDI also vary in terms of payout. In 2021, the maximum monthly payment for an individual is $794 per month. It is $1,191 per month for a couple. Any income earned by an individual or couple will decrease that amount. Many states have state-level supplements for SSI recipients that bump up the total.

SSDI payments are determined by how much you have earned over the course of your career, not by strict federal limits. Most payments range from $800 to $1,800 per month, but the maximum you can bring in is $3,148 per month. The formula used by the SSA to determine SSDI payments looks at your average monthly earnings, percentages of each level of income, and other factors.

How They Are Funded

These programs are funded in completely different ways. SSDI is funded by the Social Security payroll tax. The tax is taken out of every paycheck you earn throughout your career, and these funds are used for SSDI payments and Social Security retirement income for seniors. SSI is funded by the U.S. Treasury general fund, which pays for various government programs through all types of tax receipts.

What Else You Can Receive

Another key difference separating SSI and SSDI is how they can help you qualify for other programs. Those who are approved for SSI are typically qualified to receive Medicaid health benefits. Medicaid benefits are comprehensive and offer thorough coverage, which is a huge benefit for those who are disabled, blind, or elderly.

SSDI, on the other hand, allows recipients to receive Medicare once they have earned SSDI payments for two years. While Medicare does cover some treatments and most primary care needs, it is not nearly as thorough as Medicaid.

Whichever program you apply for, it is important to know the requirements for acceptance and submit the strongest application possible. Hiring a disability attorney can help you create an in-depth case file that gives your application a solid chance at being approved.

Contact The Dansby Law Firm Now The Dansby Law Firm focuses exclusively on disability recipients. We have a thorough understanding of the complexities involved with these types of cases, and we stay up-to-date on important changes in these programs Our goal is to help every single applicant get the benefits they deserve. Get the help you need now by calling us at 334-834-7001 or contacting us online

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