SSI and SSDI are both federal disability benefit programs. They are designed to financially assist those who are considered disabled and incapable of working; however, they differ significantly in their eligibility requirements and the benefits they offer. It can be difficult to make the distinction between the two with such similar acronyms, but it’s important to know the key differences before applying.
Comparing SSI & SSDI
The Social Security Administration is in charge of overseeing and distributing the funds for each of the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) programs. SSI is referred to as a means-tested program, which requires applicants to show they have limited income and little in assets. These benefits are financed by general revenue taxes and will help to meet the basic needs of the blind, elderly, and disabled.
In contrast, SSDI is known as an entitlement program funded by payroll taxes. Recipients qualify after they have worked for a certain number of years and are unable to continue working because of a disability. They are entitled to these benefits regardless of their current income status since the program is based on the taxes they contributed themselves through employment.
Other Notable Differences
SSI and SSDI programs also vary in the amount of money they provide. SSI benefits use a standard payment system to determine how much each recipient will collect every month. This amount can also be reduced if a beneficiary is receiving any other income. SSDI benefits are calculated according to an applicant’s employment earnings record, so the amounts administered can fluctuate greatly from person to person. In addition, these programs have different impacts on the type of medical coverage beneficiaries qualify for. An SSI recipient generally qualifies for Medicaid right away, while those getting SSDI will be eligible to get Medicare after two years of receiving benefits.
When trying to establish SSI and SSDI benefits eligibility, it’s often best to speak with a professional who is familiar with the system and application process. That’s why many people in the Omaha, NE, area turn to Disability Claim Consultants for guidance. They have decades of experience walking people through complicated paperwork and filing procedures to get them the appropriate benefits. Contact them at (402) 422-1000, or visit them online for additional information.