What’s the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
Disability benefits are complicated. There are a variety of private and public sources of disability coverage, as well as different forms of coverage available from each source. While most of our clients have heard the terms “SSI” and “SSDI,” many are unclear as to how they are different and where they overlap. Continue reading to learn about the differences between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Call a knowledgeable California social security disability insurance lawyer if you need help obtaining disability coverage.
What is SSI?
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a form of minimum basic financial assistance provided to elderly adults and people with disabilities (whether they are older or younger) who have a very limited income. The federal government provides SSI and many states, including California, provide additional benefits to supplement the program. In California, SSI recipients can also benefit from the State Supplemental Program (SSP), which provides additional benefits each month along with the recipient’s SSI benefits.
The program is purely needs-based, with strict caps on income and assets. The amount of benefits available depend on the individual’s income, location, disability (if applicable), and other relevant circumstances. At the moment, the maximum benefits available to most Californians is $943.72 for individuals and $1,582.14 for couples, including both SSI and SSP. Blind individuals can receive additional assistance.
What is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is financial assistance provided to individuals suffering from a long-term disability that prevents them from working. It is considered a form of “insurance” funded through payroll taxes. To be eligible, recipients (or qualifying family members) must have worked for a certain number of years, made contributions to the Social Security trust fund, and earned sufficient “work credits.”
SSI vs. SSDI
SSDI, like SSI, provides income assistance to disabled individuals and their families. Unlike SSI, SSDI is only available to applicants under the age of 65, and eligibility depends on the applicant’s work history (or that of a qualifying family member). While SSI is available to any disabled or elderly individual who is below a certain income and asset cap, SSDI eligibility depends upon both means-based eligibility and work history. SSDI recipients are also generally eligible for Medicare after 24 months, while SSI recipients are automatically qualified for Medicaid benefits in most states.
Reach Out Today for Immediate Assistance with a California Disability Claim
For help obtaining disability benefits in southern California or statewide, call the qualified and effective Social Security Disability (SSD/SSI) attorneys Drake & Drake at 818-914-4055.