When just given the name, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance sound very similar, especially when they’re referred to by their abbreviations: SSI and SSDI. However, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability are very different and have very different requirements for who can qualify.

Difference between Social Security Insurance and Social Security Disability

What is Supplemental Security Income?

SSI refers to Supplemental Security Income. SSI is designed to support those in financial need. Whether or not you qualify has nothing to do with your work history. The only thing that’s taken into consideration is your income and financial situation. In order to receive SSI benefits, you must have less than $2,000 in assets. If you are married, you must have less than $3,000. Unlike SSDI, SSI is funded by general taxes rather than the Social Security trust fund.

What is Social Security Disability?

On the other hand, Social Security Disability has to do with your employment status. Because funds are drawn from payroll taxes, your eligibility has to do with how long you’ve been employed and paying into Social Security. In order to receive these benefits, you must be younger than 65. You must also have earned a certain number of work credits. These work credits are determined by your annual income.

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Can You Have Both SSI and SSDI?

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides cash assistance to people who are unable to work because of physical or mental impairment. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program pays monthly benefits to people who become too ill to work due to a medical condition. If you meet the requirements of both programs, you could receive payments from both programs simultaneously. This is what the Social Security Administration calls “concurrent“.

What if my SSI or SSDI application is rejected?

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Many people think that if they apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it will automatically be approved. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. In fact, many applicants are denied because they don’t meet the requirements. But there are ways to appeal such denials.

If you believe you qualify for SSI and have been wrongly denied based on incorrect information, you might want to consider appealing. You can do this yourself or hire someone to represent you.

If you qualify for either SSI or SSDI, be sure to contact an experienced attorney. We can help guide you through the process of applying for these benefits and make sure that you doing what best fits your situation.

Whether you qualify for SSI or SSDI, make sure that your rights are being protected and that you are receiving the benefits you deserve. Give us a call for a free consultation.