If you are interested in applying for Social Security benefits, you may be confused about the differences between SSDI and SSI, or Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance. Both of these government-run programs assist people who are disabled to receive payments. These two programs do share some similarities, such as being administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and having the same requirements for the determination of a medical disability. However, they are very different programs, each with their own qualifications. To see which program is right for you, read on.
Social Security Disability
SSD, or Social Security Disability, is for people who have "paid into" the system. You may have noticed the SSD deduction on your pay stub; this is money that has been put aside for you to use if you ever become unable to work at your job. This payment is considered "insurance" and your eligibility for benefits is based on how much you have worked in the past.
The eligibility determination converts the years you have worked into work credits, and you must have a certain number of work credits, depending on your age, to qualify for benefits. Generally, you must earn $1,200 to earn one credit, and you must have earned 40 credits, with 20 of them earned in the last ten years, to qualify for benefits. There are special calculations available for workers under 31 years of age, however.
Supplemental Security Insurance
The SSI program, or the Supplemental Security Insurance program, was designed to meet the needs of people who do not have enough work history to meet the work credit requirements. Instead of work credits, the determination for this program is based on how little you earn or own. In general an individual must own less than $2,000 in assets and have very limited income. Your home and a certain amount of personal belongings are exempted from the $2,000.
Determining your eligibility for this type of benefit can be complicated, since the SSA allows you to deduct some of your income. The SSA has a handy online calculation tool to help you determine your eligibility. Usually, if you qualify for other government assistance like food stamps and housing assistance, you will qualify for the Supplemental Security Insurance program.
As you can see, although often confused with each other, these programs address different needs. Once you decide which program is right for you, consult with a social security disability attorney for more guidance through the sometimes frustrating experience of applying for these programs.Share
24 June 2015
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