What is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
If you are unable to work because of a medical condition, you might be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees to different kinds of disability benefits. There are differences in the two kinds of disability benefits that are available with the most significant differences being in the requirements for benefits approval. The two different kinds of disability benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The main difference between the two different kinds of Social Security disability benefits would be how SSDI is available to disabled workers who have worked enough to earn a sufficient number of credits and paid in enough taxes. SSI benefits are income-based, so they can be paid to disabled individuals who have never worked or who did not work enough to earn sufficient credits to qualify for SSDI. In some rare instances, a disabled individual might qualify for both kinds of disability benefits. Your Milwaukee social security lawyer with Tabak Law, LLC will help you determine which kind of disability benefits you qualify to receive.
The Requirements for SSDI Benefits
To qualify for SSDI, you have to earn sufficient credits and pay in enough taxes. Your ability to draw SSDI is dependent upon your work history as well as your medical condition and your ability to meet the criteria established in the medical guide used by the SSA, which is called the Blue Book. While there might be extenuating circumstances in some situations, usually you must have worked the equivalent of five years full-time out of the last 10 years.
After receiving SSDI for two years, a recipient qualifies for Medicare. The spouse and children of a disabled individual receiving SSDI also qualify for partial dependent benefits, which are known as auxiliary benefits. Only adults older than 18 and younger than 65 qualify for monthly SSDI disability benefits. There is a five-month benefit waiting period, which means you won’t receive benefits for the first five months you are disabled you won’t receive any benefits. The amount of your monthly benefit is dependent upon your work earnings record, which is similar to how monthly Social Security retirement benefits are paid.
The Requirements of SSI Benefits
SSI is a needs-based disability benefit. If you don’t have the work history needed to qualify for SSDI, but meet the income and resource requirements you might be eligible to receive SSI benefits. For 2017, the income limits are $733 per month for an individual and $1,100 per month for a couple. Not all income is counted, so you might be able to have income slightly higher and still be eligible to receive SSI benefits. If the applicant is a child, the family’s income is considered. A Social Security disability attorney with Tabak Law, LLC, can help you determine if you qualify for SSI benefits.
Your assets must be less than $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Disabled individuals who meet the requirements for SSI are also eligible for Medicaid where they live. Because SSI is for people who have very limited income, recipients often qualify for food stamps. SSI benefits will begin on the first month when you first submitted your application after you have been approved, so backpay is available.
Summarizing the Three Big Differences Between SSI and SSDI
So, to sum it up, there are three main differences between SSDI and SSI. While both are overseen and administered by the SSA, they have some very different financial requirements and offer some different benefits. Both programs are designed to provide benefits for the disabled. To meet the definition of disabled, you must meet the criteria that have been established in the Blue Book, which is the medical guide used by the SSA to determine if an individual is disabled.
1. Difference one is the financial requirements. SSDI is considered an entitlement program because it is available to anyone who has paid in the Social Security system during the last 10 years regardless of their current assets or income. All qualified disabled workers, regardless of income, are eligible to receive SSDI benefits. SSI benefits are a means-tested program that meets the needs of the disabled, blind, and elderly individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford their basic living expenses.
2. The next difference involves medical insurance of healthcare. Usually, because of the financial requirements established to receive SSI, those who get SSI also qualify for Medicaid. There are some instances where an individual applies for SSI to get the healthcare that is available through SSI. Those who are approved for SSDI can get Medicare benefits two years after they become eligible to receive SSDI. Medicare is a federal healthcare program that covers routine hospital services and most, but not all, primary care needs. While Medicare is not as comprehensive as Medicaid, an SSDI recipient can purchase a policy to cover any gaps in coverage their Medicare plan might have.
3. And, last but not least, the financial benefits received from SSI and SSDI can be very different. The standard SSI payment is $733 per month for an individual. The standard monthly SSDI payment is $1,165 per month. SSDI is based on the earnings record of the disabled worker, so there are SSDI recipients who receive considerably more than the average benefit. SSI benefits are reduced by the beneficiary’s other income, so the majority of recipients receive less than the standard payment. In most cases, if an individual’s SSDI payment is higher than the SSI payment standard, he or she won’t qualify for SSI.
Meeting the Medical Requirements
One similarity for both kinds of benefits, SSI and SSDI, is meeting the medical criteria set forth by the SSA to determine that an individual is disabled. You must show that you are going to suffer from your disability for at least one year or it will result in death.
The Blue Book lists the different body systems, such as Musculoskeletal System, Special Senses and Speech, Respiratory Disorders, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Genitourinary Disorders, Hematological Disorders, Skin Disorders, Neurological Disorders, Mental Disorders, and several others.
You go to the section that covers your particular condition. As an example, bipolar depression or PTSD would fall under a mental disorder. You will then see if your medical records show that your particular conditions match the criteria listed for that particular condition under the right system, which in the case is Mental Disorders.
Consult with a Milwaukee Social Security Disability Attorney
If you are ready to start your disability claim or if you have been denied benefits, you should consult with an experienced Milwaukee Social Security disability attorney from Tabak Law, LLC. Tabak Law has a team of experienced social security attorneys and disability lawyers who know how to properly pursue the disability claim and help their client get the benefits they need and deserve.