Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) both provide monthly benefits for disabled individuals who suffer from physical or mental impairments that prevent them from working. However, there are key distinctions between these two programs that can significantly impact a claim.
The reputable Cincinnati Social Security Disability lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can explain the key differences between the SSDI and SSI programs. We can also help you with all stages of an appeal.
Both SSDI and SSI have specific financial eligibility criteria that must be met before a person can be approved for benefits.
SSDI benefits are available to individuals who have sufficient work credits based on the number of years that they worked before being diagnosed with a disability that satisfies the SSA definition of a disability.
The necessary amount of time that a person must have worked depends on his or her age:
- Claimants under age 24 must have worked one and a half years during the three years immediately prior to becoming disabled.
- Claimants between the ages of 24 and 31 must have worked for half of the time in the period between turning 21 and when they became disabled.
- Claimants older than 30 must have worked five out of ten years in the 10-year period prior to becoming disabled.
SSI is a needs-based program and is available for individuals who have never worked or who do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. To qualify for SSI, claimants must have limited income and resources. Individual claimants cannot have countable resources of more than $2,000 while couples cannot exceed $3,000 in resources.
Claimants for either program cannot earn more than the substantial gainful activity limit to qualify for benefits.
Origin Of Benefit Funds
The source of the funds used to pay benefits is also different. SSDI benefits derive from workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund through deductions from their paychecks. The federal government funds SSI through general tax revenues, and states may offer an additional benefit to individuals who receive these benefits.
Other family members may be entitled to receive SSDI benefits from the claimant’s earnings record, including widows, spouses and dependents. SSI benefits are only available for the person with the disability.
Calculation Of Monthly Benefit Amount
SSI pays a standard benefit amount to claimants. The maximum amount that a single individual can receive is $735, as of 2017. For a couple, the benefit amount is $1,103 in 2017. The SSA subtracts any countable income from the federal benefit rate before providing these benefits. Countable income excludes certain portions and types of income.
SSDI is based on claimants’ earnings history. The SSA utilizes a weighted formula to determine the amount of benefits a claimant is eligible to receive. The monthly payment is based on the claimant’s lifetime average earnings. However, the amount of benefits may be reduced if the claimant receives other types of work-related benefits.
Contact A Social Security Disability Lawyer For Help
If you would like to find out whether you may qualify for SSDI, SSI or both, contact the reputable Social Security Disability attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy.
We can help you appeal a denied claim from one of these two programs and gather evidence to support your claim. We will work closely with you throughout the process to ensure you are aware of your legal rights at each stage.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning that we only get paid if your claim is approved and you receive benefits.