Both of these programs can be a tremendous help if you’re unable to work because of illness, injury, or disability.
If you’re just starting to explore these, you may wonder, what is the difference between SSI and SSDI?
We’ll first take a quick look at each one.
SSI vs. SSDI
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. It’s a program that assists those with limited income and resources. It provides minimum basic financial assistance to senior citizens, as well as persons with disabilities, regardless of age. In many cases, federal SSI benefits are supplemented by state programs.
If you’ve been recommended SSI, you may want to speak with lawyers who can help you to understand supplemental security income.
Meanwhile, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) supports disabled individuals with a qualifying work history – whether through their own employment or that of an immediate family member such as a spouse or parent.
What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
Both SSI and SSDI can be a big help to people struggling to pay medical and other bills. They each use the same five-step criteria to determine who qualifies as disabled. From there, though, there are three major differences.
1. Financial Requirements
Although each program is through the Social Security Administration, SSI is meant to meet the basic needs of a specific group of people – the elderly and/or disabled. Its purpose is to help this population pay for food and shelter and it has very strict financial requirements.
On the other hand, SSDI is available to anyone who’s paid into the Social Security system for at least ten years. Current income and assets are not considered. That means even high-income earners could qualify for SSDI. Of course, there are still certain requirements. They’re just not as financially-based.
2. Medicaid Vs. Medicare
Once you qualify for SSI, you receive Medicaid benefits immediately. And since Medicaid is a joint state and federal health care program, it usually provides very comprehensive healthcare coverage.
SSDI beneficiaries, by contrast, have to wait two years after being deemed eligible before they receive Medicare. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is only a federal health insurance program and is therefore not as comprehensive. It covers routine hospital services and most but not all primary medical care.
3. Benefit Amounts
The maximum monthly benefit amounts for SSI are the same as the income cutoffs – the amount of which varies from year to year. That means that the amount of monthly countable income you earn is subtracted from the benefit amount. If you earn more than the limit, you’re no longer eligible.
For SSDI benefits, the SSA looks at all of your qualifying income from the start of your work history until you became disabled or retired. They calculate your average indexed monthly earnings and, based on a formula, apply a benefit amount. There is a maximum monthly benefit amount that, like SSI, differs from year to year.
Could You Benefit From SSI or SSRI?
Now that you know what is the difference between SSI and SSRI, you’ll be able to determine which one is right for you.
And that’s great because these benefits will make a huge difference in your life.
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