Receiving SSI and SSDI benefits at the same time is sometimes possible, and it is called “concurrent benefits.”
The difference between SSI and SSDI is primarily based in the significance of work history. SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is for people with little to no work history, and is based on financial need. SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, requires the applicant to have significant work history.
To earn SSDI, you need to have earned “work credits” over the course of many years. Work credits are counted by the amount your employers have paid into Social Security on your behalf over the years. If you have worked consistently, and been taxed for it over the years, you most likely have accumulated a great deal of work credits.
Each year as a wage earner, you pay FICA taxes. You see these taxes coming out of your paycheck each month. These FICA taxes feed with Social Security Administration’s trust fund, and it is this fund that pays out benefits in the form of SSDI.
If you have earned SOME work credits but not a lot, it puts you into a situation in which you might be qualify to receive both SSI and SSDI benefits.
If your work credits are existent but low, then you can only receive a small monthly SSDI benefit. Why? Here are the reasons:
- Your wages remained low throughout the course of your work history;
- Your disability happened a young age, so you did not have many years of wage-earning compiled;
- You had not worked much at the time of your injury, regardless of age;
- In the past decade you had not worked much, if at all.
If any of these situations sounds like yours, then you may be receiving (or only eligible for) low SSDI benefits.
As SSI benefits are distributed based on the income levels of the applicants, the SSDI benefits you receive must stay below a fairly low threshold. SSDI benefits are counted as “unearned income,” and in most states, anyone collecting more than $710 each month in unearned income is ineligible.
In applying for SSI, you show both your earned and unearned incomes. You also show any other kinds of benefits you receive — free food, shelter, gifts from friends, Social Security retirement, unemployment benefits, or money you earn from working.
Assets & Income Resources May Affect Outcome
The Social Security Administration also looks at your other assets and financial resources. If you have more than $2,000 in assets as an individual, you may not apply. If you are married, then you and your spouse together must not have more than $3,000 in assets.
There are some sources of income that the Social Security Administration does not count toward the SSI limit. Food stamps (SNAP), loans that you have to repay, public benefits based on need, and tax refunds do not count toward your SSI eligibility.
SSI and Different States
Your state of residence also plays a significant role in determining your SSI benefits. Seven US states do not give supplemental state payments to recipients of federal SSI benefits; those states are Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. These state supplements in the other 43 states are usually less than $700 per month, and can be as little as $10 per month. It is difficult to predict your federal SSI benefit level without knowing what you may receive in state supplement payments.
Assistance With SSI and SSDI In Ohio
Feel free to contact the downtown Cincinnati law office of Clements, Taylor & Cohen LPA Co. and Butkovich & Associates for assistance with Social Security Disability matters.