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SSD and SSI Benefits: What’s the Difference?

By Kenton Koszdin Law Office on March 25, 2015 | In Social Security Disability

SSD and SSI Benefits: What’s the Difference?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible not only for overseeing social security benefits for retirees, but also for the distribution of Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSD and SSI are similar programs but they do have distinct differences. If you are disabled and unable to work at full capacity, it may be in your best interest to learn about both programs.

If you have a work history and have developed a disability that prevents you from continuing to work, SSD benefits are probably your best option. However, SSI benefits are based more on current financial resources. Children who have never worked are not able to receive SSD, but they may qualify for SSI benefits. In such cases, the family applying on behalf of the child will have to prove that they do not earn above the financial threshold.

SSD is funded through payroll taxes. Recipients of SSD insurance have made contributions to the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA Social Security taxes during their years of work. SSD coverage can help workers who have become disabled or the spouse and children of someone eligible for benefits.

SSI is a program that is not based on years of work but on need. In other words, you can receive SSI benefits whether you have ever worked or not, as long as you can prove that you need it financially. You must have less than $2,000 in assets and a very limited income. If you qualify, you may also qualify for California Medicaid and food stamps.

Another difference between SSD and SSI is when it begins. SSD benefits take five months before benefits start arriving. SSI benefits can start on the first of the month when you first submitted your application. Qualifying for disability benefits is often a complicated and time-consuming process. If you or a loved one is unable to work, make sure you research your legal rights and options. An experienced Los Angeles Social Security Disability attorney can help you secure the support you need in a timely manner.

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