SSI and SSDI; these two federal programs that provide monetary aid are often confused with each other. Knowing the differences is important, since they are aimed at very different populations and fulfill different roles. To learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), read on.
How these programs are alike.
- The medical condition qualifications are the same for both programs: you must have a medical condition that is listed on the Social Security Administration's list of covered medical conditions and that condition must prevent you from working at a job.
- They are both government administered programs and fall under the control of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
- They both provide monthly benefits to those who qualify.
- They both require medical proof of your condition (medical records).
How these programs differ.
The main difference in SSDI and SSI is the population that they serve; one for those who have worked enough at a job and one for those who have little income or property.
1. Social Security Disability Insurance
If you have worked at a job and received a paycheck, you may have noticed the Social Security deduction listed among the other deductions and taxes taken from your gross pay. This money is set aside for those who have worked enough and earned enough. The SSA uses the term "work credits" to identify the number of years and the amount of money you have earned in the past.
In general, you earn 1 work credit for every $1,200 you make in wages. To qualify for SSDI, you must have accumulated at least 40 credits over time, and 20 of those 40 credits must have come from your most recent 10 year period of work. If you are under the age of 31, other rules apply since it's not as likely that you would qualify using work credits.
2. Supplemental Security Insurance
Not everyone has a long and sufficient work record, so SSI allows you the option of using your low income to qualify for monthly benefits instead of work credits. The income and property limits are quite stringent, since this program is meant for those who lack many resources. Normally, you cannot own more than $2,000 in assets, such as money in a checking or saving account. Your family home and vehicle is usually excluded from the calculation. As a rule of thumb, if you qualify for other forms of government assistance, such as food stamps, you will probably qualify for SSI. SSI is also available for children who meet the same medical quantification, with the income and assets of their parents or guardians being used for qualification.
If you are having problems getting your Social Security claim approved, contact an attorney at a place like Drummond Law LLC-Disability Lawyers.