SSD vs. SSI
What is the difference between Social Security Disability Income (SSDI or SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
If you are thinking of applying for Social Security Disability or have already applied, you may be wondering what the difference between SSD and SSI is. Although the two programs are both administered by the Social Security Administration and the criteria to obtain benefits under either program are substantially similar, it is important to note that SSD and SSI are two separate and independent programs with different eligibility requirements.
What is Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Income, or SSD, provides disability benefits to individuals who are insured through their contributions to the Social Security trust fund. Workers contribute to this fund through FICA Social Security taxes that are taken in the form of payroll taxes when a person is working. In exchange for this, an individual who is working obtains work credits through Social Security. These work credits are used to determine if an individual is eligible for SSD benefits. Each individual who stops working will have a date last insured, which is the last date that the work credits they have earned will allow them to remain insured and eligible for SSD benefits. Once this date last insured has passed, it is no longer possible to obtain SSD benefits and because of this, it is very important to obtain an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to help you protect your rights and benefits.
In addition, the amount of SSD benefits an individual can earn is dependent upon a worker’s lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security. And, if an individual obtains SSD benefits they will become eligible for Medicare after receiving SSD benefits for two years.
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is not an insurance program like SSD. Instead, SSI is a means-tested program that is administered by Social Security based solely upon an individual’s needs according to income and assets. SSI is not funded through payroll taxes but instead is funded through general tax revenues. In order to be eligible for SSI benefits an individual must not exceed the asset limit that is determined by Social Security and you must not exceed a certain monthly income rate.
SSI benefits are not calculated based upon the earnings that an individual has made but instead they are calculated based upon a set rate that deducts any countable income that an individual may be earning. Additionally, an individual who is receiving SSI benefits is not eligible for Medicare like an individual who is receiving SSD benefits, instead, SSI recipients are eligible to receive Medicaid.
How do I apply for SSD or SSI?
Because there are many differences between SSD and SSI it is important to obtain an experienced Social Security Disability attorney in the event that you are seeking to obtain disability benefits from Social Security. Our office will do everything in our power to aid you in the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.