Disability and SSI. What’s The Difference?

Ah, the age-old question of SSI vs. SSDI. Which is which?

SSDI is what we usually call “Disability” – Social Security Disability Insurance.

SSI is Supplemental Security Income.

So, let’s take a look.

SSI vs. SSDI – What Are The Differences?

To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked for an employer that paid FICA Social Security taxes. If your employer had you covered under Social Security, then that money – which came out of your paycheck each time – went into a general fund, and that general fund can now provide for your health care coverage.

You also must have worked long enough and recently enough (work credits) under Social Security to qualify for benefits.

Social Security work credits are base on your total yearly wages. The amount needed for a credit changes from year to year and the number of work credits you need to qualify depends on your age when you become disabled.

Contact an attorney for more information regarding work credits.

SSI has nothing to do with work history. To qualify for SSI, you need to have less than $3,000 in assets for a couple, and as an individual less than $2,000 in assets. Most people who can qualify for SSI also qualify for food stamps. SSI coverage is, basically, Medicaid. You apply for SSI from the state where you live, not from the federal government.

A few other key differences:

– To qualify for SSDI, or Disability, you must not be over 65 years of age. Senior citizens are covered under different law than that which governs Social Security Disability. For SSI coverage, you can be over 65.

– Under SSDI, your spouse or children may be eligible for “auxiliary benefits,” which are partial dependent benefits. This is not the case with SSI.

Knowledgeable SSI and SSDI Attorneys

Whatever questions you may have, it’s best that you contact a professional, experienced attorney who has extensive knowledge of the SSDI and SSI systems.