Two federal benefits programs have many similarities and are often confused, but they are actually very different in the types of people they help. Understanding how Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) differs is important if you are applying for one or the other. Read on to learn a bit more about each program and the populations they target.
They are alike in some ways:
1. Medical qualifications - You must have a medical condition that is on the list of approved conditions and you must be able to show proof of that condition through the use of medical treatment and medical records to back those appointments and diagnostic tests up. The medical condition must be severe enough to keep you from working at a job.
2. Benefits are paid monthly.
3. The Social Security Administration (SSA), a government agency, oversees both programs.
The programs are different in who they serve: One program is aimed at those who have a good history of working, and one program is aimed at those who have little to no property or other resources.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Part of the above term, insurance, deserves to be pointed out: this benefit is actually a monetary payment of money that you have had taken out of your salary throughout your working life. You must have worked enough and made enough money to qualify for SSDI, and the SSA tracks that work and pay through the use of work credits. In short, you are given 1 work credit for every $1,200 you've earned. You must have at least 40 work credits accumulated to qualify, and 20 of those must have been earned in the most recent 10 year period.
Supplemental Security Income
The SSA also has a program to help those who may not have worked enough to qualify for SSDI. SSI has no requirement for work, but you must not own much property, have much income or have money in the bank. The property limit for qualifying for SSI is set at $2,000, but your home and car are not counted toward that limit. Often, people who qualify for other government assistance programs, like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps) or housing assistance (such as Section 8) will also be able to get SSI benefits. If you have a minor child who has a disability, they could also qualify for SSI payments based on the parent's income situation.
If you have been denied your benefits, talk to a Social Security attorney, like Cohen & Siegel LLP, right away.Share