What are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

While no person should have to think about where their next meal may come from or whether they have a safe place to go home to, for many disabled people, this uncertainty is a reality. People with disabilities remain an overlooked minority, primarily in educational and workplace settings. With this lack of access, many disabled people are forced to live in poverty. From 2008 to 2019, over 25% of the disabled population in the U.S. lived in poverty. 

Social Security Administration Disability Benefits

Both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are federal programs that provide resources to disabled individuals. The qualifications and resources provided by each program differ. Do you wonder if you qualify for SSI or SSDI? Read on to find out more about these federal programs. 

What is SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)? 

SSDI, also known as Social Security Disability Insurance, is a federal assistance program providing monthly benefits to those with disabilities. SSDI requires a disabled person to have a recent work history during which they paid Social Security taxes on their earnings. Social Security Disability Insurance cannot be utilized by those who have not worked in recent years or have not worked at all. 

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is in place for disabled children and adults across the U.S. who cannot obtain adequate funding for shelter, clothing, or food. Supplemental Security Income provides monthly payments for these necessities based on financial need. Unlike SSDI, Supplemental Security income does not require an individual to have a work history.

What is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI? 

SSI and SSDI serve a similar purpose, but the federal assistance programs differ in their benefits offered. A person who qualifies for Supplemental Security Income can access benefits including monthly payments and Medicaid within one month of application approval. A person who qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance will need to wait six months after the onset of disability to receive monthly benefits. Those who are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance can qualify for Medicare after two years of receiving SSDI benefits. 

How Hard is it to Qualify for Social Security Disability?

To qualify for SSI or SSDI, a person must have a disability as defined by the Social Security Administration. Both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance have income limits. This means a person cannot exceed a certain amount of income per year, otherwise, they may lose SSI or SSDI benefits. Income limits change yearly, so check the social security administration website to determine if you qualify for benefits.  

What is the Monthly Amount for SSDI or SSI? 

A person who qualifies for SSI or SSDI will not receive a significant amount of benefits each month. The amount of SSI or SSDI benefit received, in most cases, will only cover necessities like food, shelter, and clothing. 

To find the most up-to-date information regarding SSI and SSDI applications, eligibility, and income limits, visit the Social Security Administration website.

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