SSI or SSDI Which One Do I Need:

Here is what you need to know

This is a question that we hear quite often, and one that can be explained quickly and easily. It does not guarantee you will be approved or that you’ll receive the exact amount listed.

The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSD is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD.



In a nutshell:

SSI

SSI, or supplemental security income, is a type of welfare benefit for those who have either A., not worked in their lives, or B., have not worked for 5 out of the last 10 years.

To get SSI, you will have to prove that you are either disabled, or that you won’t be able to work for at least the next 12 months. You also can’t have more than $2,000 in liquid assets ($3,000 for couples).

Also, whether or not you qualify will be based on the income of the entire household, not just your income, so if your household income exceeds the SGA limits you are unlikely to qualify.



SSDI

SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, are benefits available to those who have worked for approximately 5 full years out of the last 10. The SSDI program was started in 1956. It is an insurance benefit, not welfare. Net work and most household income will not disqualify you from receiving these benefits.

The main difference between Social Security Disability (SSD, or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is the fact that SSDI is available to workers who have accumulated a sufficient number of work credits, while SSI disability benefits are available to low-income individuals who have either never worked or who haven’t earned enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.

“A person can qualify for both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Benefits (SSD) if they meet the low-income requirements AND have paid into Social Security.” -Social Security Disability Fact. 2.2 million people receive both SSI and SSDI. You must fill out an application:



If you have more questions regarding the requirements for these two programs, you can read the details here: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/AdultListings.htm.

DISCLAIMER * This information is based on what data Social Security has made available for 2014 and reflects how much applicants have received in the past.

What Do Disability Benefits Pay?

SSI: Payments are based on need. The monthly maximum Federal amounts for 2014:

  • $721 for an eligible individual
  • $1,082 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse
  • $361 for an essential person
  • This represents a 1.5% increase over 2013 payments. (Note: Some states supplement Federal SSI benefits.)

    SSDI: Payments are based on the worker’s Social Security earnings before he became disabled.



  • The average SSDI payment was $1,132 a month in 2013.
  • You can receive up to $2,533 a month.
  • Back Pay or “Retro Benefits”

    Social Security issues back pay (sometimes called “Retro benefits” or “Past due benefits”) to claimants after they are approved for ongoing benefits. The amounts vary according to the type of benefits, the date the disability began, and when the application was filed.

    In the case of SSI, the back pay can only go back to the Date of Filing, or the date you submitted your Initial Application. This means that a claimant who has been disabled and may have qualified for years, but waited to apply for SSI benefits, could only receive past due benefits as of the date he or she filed the initial application.

    In the case of Disability (DIB), or Title II benefits, the back pay will have a five-month waiting period from the Onset Date. For example, if a claimant were found to be disabled as of January 1, she would not be eligible for disability back pay until May 1. The back pay would then extend from May 1 to the approval date. Another important restriction regarding Disability back pay is that it can only extend up to 12 months before the Date of Filing. For example, a claimant who has been disabled for years, but perhaps waited until recently to file a claim, could only receive past due benefits for the year before he or she filed the initial application.