What’s the Difference Between Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security plays an important role in supporting individuals with financial assistance during various seasons of life. However, it can be confusing to navigate the different programs offered by Social Security without first understanding the key distinctions between Social Security Disability Insurance and Social Security Income.
Whether you or a loved one are grappling with a disability or financial hardship, understanding these two programs will help in determining your eligibility criteria, benefits, and the application and appeals processes. SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Social Security Income) are both programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but they cater to distinct groups of individuals facing different life circumstances.
While both Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provide financial assistance, they differ significantly in their eligibility requirements, funding sources, and benefit calculations.
SSI serves as a lifeline for individuals with limited income and resources, while SSDI supports disabled individuals who have accumulated work credits. Understanding these differences is essential when seeking financial assistance from the Social Security Administration.
Understanding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is a program that provides financial assistance to disabled individuals who have accumulated sufficient work credits. The credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes during their working years. The amount of SSDI benefits is based on an individual’s past earnings. To be eligible for SSDI, applicants must have sufficient work credits and a disability which is expected to last at least one year which prevents working.
Understanding Social Security Income (SSI)
If you have not accumulated sufficient work credits, then SSI is a program that provides financial assistance to people with limited income and resources, including the elderly, blind, and disabled. It is designed to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and funded by general tax revenues.
To qualify for SSI, applicants must meet strict income and resource limitations set by the SSA and a disability which is expected to last at least one year which prevents working.
The amount of SSI benefits varies by state due to differences in living expenses.
Key Differences Between SSDI and SSI
- Income Benefit Amount: SSI income is based on financial need and covers only basic living expenses in the region you live, while SSDI is based on work history and how much you earn is based upon your past earning’s record.
- Eligibility Income and Resources: SSI has strict income and resource limitations, whereas SSDI does not.
- Funding: SSI is funded by general tax revenues, while SSDI is funded through Social Security taxes paid by workers and their employers.
Application and Appeals
Both SSI and SSDI applications require medical documentation and detailed information about your disability. The application process can be complex, and it is not uncommon for initial applications to be denied. In such cases, both programs have an appeals process that allows applicants to request a review or a hearing to present additional evidence.
If you have been denied your initial application, we recommend you file an appeal with an experienced SSDI/SSI attorney. Filing an appeal for a disability case can be a time-consuming process, which can be particularly challenging when your financial stability is reliant on a favorable outcome. Hiring a social security disability attorney is beneficial as they can guide you on the required evidence for your appeal and advocate for you with the SSA. Their expertise in the SSDI/SSI attorney appeals process can help you avoid common application errors and expedite the resolution of your case.
If you have been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security Income (SSI) benefits, we encourage you to file an appeal as soon as possible. Arthur Law Firm offers assistance in filing your appeal and can guide you through the appeals process. Collaborating with a knowledgeable SSDI/SSI attorney significantly enhances your chances of a positive resolution. For a free consultation, contact Arthur Law Firm (419) 782-9881.