The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two programs for people who can no longer work due to physical or mental conditions: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI).
Although both programs are overseen by the SSA and serve similar populations, there are differences regarding the eligibility of applicants and the potential benefits. Here is what you need to know.
To be eligible for SSI, you must be a blind, disabled or elderly American citizen or qualified alien (65+ years) with low income and limited financial resources (assets valued at $2000 or less). You must also reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
For SSDI benefits, you must have a qualifying disability to be eligible. You should also have worked long enough under Social Security to earn sufficient work credits, although there are exemptions when you do not have a work history. You must also be younger than your retirement age, among other requirements.
The potential benefits
Individuals eligible for SSI benefits automatically qualify for Medicaid, while SSDI beneficiaries must wait for some period before qualifying. It is also worth noting that the average SSDI monthly payment is higher.
Get help with your SSI/SSDI application
For either program, you require a determination from the SSA on whether you qualify for the benefits. Not all claims sail through for various reasons, and it can be a long agonizing wait before you successfully appeal a denied claim.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to learn more about what to expect during the application process. If you have any questions or concerns, consider reaching out for qualified assistance to avoid making mistakes that could hurt your chances of a successful outcome.