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What’s the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are both federal programs that assist disabled people. But before you hire a disability attorney, you may be asking yourself, what is the difference between SSI and SSDI? Believe it or not, other than the similar-sounding acronyms, there are many distinctions between the two programs, and when filling out the applications, you do not want to confuse these two programs.


First things first: SSI is a means-tested program, while SSDI is an entitlement program. What does this mean? SSI takes applicants based on financial means, while SSDI needs a particular amount of work credits

Basically, SSI is created to help the elderly, blind, and disabled who may have a hard time funding basic necessities. In order to help this group of people, there are very specific conditions that need to be met. On the other hand, SSDI is a little more open to applicants. All you have to do in order to apply for SSDI is have paid into the Social Security system for at least 10 years (although there might be some different requirements for you if you’re a younger beneficiary or a disabled adult child of a retired or deceased worker). Essentially, SSDI makes it so employees or workers who become disabled are able to receive their social security benefits before they are entitled to them. SSDI takes FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) into consideration, looking at the taxes you’ve paid through every job you’ve had.


Medicare versus Medicaid

Another big difference between SSI and SSDI is that SSI beneficiaries typically receive Medicare, while SSDI program people receive Medicaid. Typically, someone who applies for SSI almost immediately entitles them to Medicare benefits. Because of its comprehensive coverage as a state and federal health care program, SSI is often the most popular program to apply for simply because of the healthcare that’s associated with the plan.

When it comes to SSDI applicants, they are eligible for Medicare two years after becoming eligible for the SSDI benefits. However, unlike Medicaid, Medicare doesn’t have as expansive coverage, qualifying applicants for routine hospital visits and most primary care. Sometimes, Medicare beneficiaries will go about purchasing private “Medigap” policies to get the Medicare coverage they don’t have.

ssdi lawyer meeting with older couple in South Carollina

Can You Collect SSI and SSDI?

For an applicant to collect benefits for SSI and SSDI, a person must be deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration, while also having limited income and resources even after collecting the SSDI benefits. In order for an applicant to be eligible for both programs, again, the person must be deemed disabled by the SSA and must also have limited income and resources after the SSDI benefits have been received.


Big Financial Differences

As you can see, there are many differences between SSI and SSDI, and that even includes the amount of money applicants receive. In 2020, standard SSI payments came to the amount of $783 per month, whereas SSDI payments came to $1258 a month. However, since SSDI is based on income, sometimes SSDI applicants could receive more than this typical amount. For those SSI applicants with multiple incomes, their benefits would be reduced by any additional income. Furthermore, if an SSDI beneficiary receives money that is more than the top SSI payment, then they will not be eligible for SSI.


Applying for SSI and SSDI

For help applying, you may want to consult a disability attorney. Adults with impairment can register for SSI online. However, SSI services are not available online for families and guardians caring for children 18 and under with a disability or over the age of 65, who are not disabled. In this case, they may want to visit the local Office of Social Security or call by 7 a.m. 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). – 7 p.m., Friday to Monday.

We hope this article helps you with knowing the differences between SSI and SSDI. While there are many distinctions between the two, one thing that they both have in common is that a claimant’s records will be checked from time to time and the SSA will review the claimant’s condition every 3 to 7 years.

More Information

If you think you might want to hire a disability lawyer to help you receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, contact Lowery Law Group at info@lowerylegal.com or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling cases in Charleston, S.C. as well as Georgia.