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Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income: How Are They Different?

By Katherine L on October 11, 2018 | In Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income: How Are They Different?

Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two federal programs that provide benefits for individuals with disabilities.

The SSDI program provides income to disabled workers who have worked long enough to qualify and who have paid Social Security taxes. SSI benefits are need-based; to be eligible, individuals with disabilities must demonstrate that they have low income and very limited resources.

Medical eligibility for both programs is the same. In general, you must have a medical condition that prevents you from working and that will last for at least one year – or is terminal.

There are, however, essential differences between SSDI and SSI in terms of eligibility and payment amounts:

Social Security Disability

  • To be eligible, an applicant must have earned a minimum number of work credits and paid FICA – Social Security – taxes.
  • Payment amounts are based on the worker’s average lifetime earnings.
  • Certain qualified family members may also be eligible for payments based on the worker’s benefit.

SSDI payments are funded by payroll taxes and are paid from the Social Security Trust Fund.

Supplemental Security Income

  • This program is need-based so only those with low income and limited resources will qualify.
  • Resources to be considered include but are not limited to bank accounts, vehicles, and personal property.
  • A disabled individual can qualify for SSI even if they have not worked long enough to be eligible for SSDI.
  • Benefit amounts are the same for all qualified applicants unless they are working – $750 per month for an individual and $1,125 for a couple (2018 values)
  • There are no SSI payments available for family members.

SSI benefits are paid from general tax revenues.

Note that, based on individual circumstances, some beneficiaries may qualify for both SSDI and SSI payments.

California is one of the states that offers a supplement to SSI payments in the State Supplemental Payment.

You can read more about SSI benefits in this SSA publication.

We Can Help With Your Social Security Disability Application or Appeal

If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call Kenton Koszdin at 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, serving the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

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