SSDI vs SSI Benefits – What’s the Difference?

SSDI vs SSI Benefits – What’s the Difference?

When someone becomes disabled and is no longer able to work for a living, they may become eligible for Social Security disability benefits from the federal government. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two main benefit programs for providing supplemental income to individuals who are no longer able to work due to a disability or debilitating medical condition. These programs are the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In this article, we’ll compare SSDI vs SSI benefits to help you understand the difference between the two.

Social Security Disability Insurance Program

SSDI is a form of disability benefits that are paid in an amount that is based on how long you have worked and how much you have earned during your work history. The money that funds the SSDI program comes from payroll taxes. In order for a person to collect SSDI benefits, they first must have paid into the system by working a certain number of quarters. A worker must make $1,300 per each work credit earned, and a worker can earn up to four work credits per year of employment.

A combination of factors goes into determining how large of an SSDI benefit someone could be eligible for. These factors may include: how long the claimant has worked, the claimant’s age at the time of disability, the claimant’s lifetime average earnings, and whether they made the minimum amount of money required to earn work credits. There is also a five-month waiting period before the SSA pays out SSDI benefits.

SSDI benefits may be reduced if the claimant also receives special public disability benefits, workers’ compensation payments or civil service disability benefits. Other sources of income could also have a negative impact on an individual’s SSDI benefit amount.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a need-based benefit that is available to disabled workers regardless of their work history. Instead, the SSI benefits program has very strict financial eligibility requirements. Disabled and blind individuals must have a very low income and very limited financial assets in order to qualify for SSI. Often times, individuals who are not eligible for SSDI benefits try to get SSI instead.

In order to be financially eligible for SSI, an individual can earn an income, but it must be a small income. SSI beneficiaries cannot own more than $2,000 worth of assets ($3,000 if married). If qualified to receive SSI, an individual could be entitled to a monthly federal SSI benefit payment of $735, while couples may be eligible for $1,103. In addition to the SSI, South Carolina residents that live in a long-term care facility could additionally be eligible for a state-based supplement of $483.

Can SSDI and SSI Be Collected At The Same Time?

Yes. There are circumstances where an individual might be eligible for a small payment from SSDI, which can be supplemented with SSI. If an individual is collecting both SSDI and SSI, the amount that can be paid out each month is capped at the monthly federal SSI benefit of $735.

Contact a Charleston Disability Lawyer

There are countless disabled and blind individuals who are prevented from working due to their disabilities. These individuals need a source of income. Social Security disability benefits are designed to help support disabled people. If you need help obtaining or applying for Social Security disability benefits, please contact the professionals at Klok Law Firm LLC for help.

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