What Is the Difference between SSI and SSDI?

by | Sep 23, 2015 | Lawyers

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The Social Security Administration sets very clear guidelines from what SSI is and what SSDI is. SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income while SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. If you can’t distinguish between the two of them right now, you’re in for a treat. They are two very different programs, each with their own set of requirements.

Supplemental Security Income is strictly a needs-based income for people who don’t make a whole lot of money. It has nothing to do with disability, work history, or anything to do with your walk of life. Instead, it has to do with your financial need. Usually, people who qualify for SSI qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and TANF – temporary assistance for needy families. The Social Security Administration sets pretty stringent eligibility requirements for Supplemental Security Income. For single people, your total net worth in assets must be under $2000 – for couples, this figure is set at $3000. Your income must be very limited to qualify.

SSDI is different. It is not considered income. Instead, it is considered insurance because its beneficiaries have contributed to the Social Security trust fund over their working years through their payroll taxes. Eligibility is set differently. Candidates for SSDI must be under the age of 65 and have earned enough qualifying “work credits.” It takes two years of being on Social Security Disability Insurance to become eligible for Medicare. On top of that, there is a five-month waiting period in it that is set. That means that the Social Security Administration will not pay any benefits for the first five months after you initially apply.

Because SSDI is considered a disability insurance, clauses for dependents are included. The disabled person’s spouse and children are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits. These are called auxiliary benefits. The catch for children is that the child must be over the age of 18 to be eligible to receive these benefits.

SSI and SSDI are very different. One is based on income need, and the other one is based on disability need. It might be tempting to wonder why someone who is not disabled is eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income. All it means that the person does not make enough money. The Social Security Administration manages both programs. As such, the process for applying for each program can be found on their website at http://fredlondonlaw.com/

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