Social security benefits are available to adults who have a medical disability that prevents them from working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers programs through which you can apply for benefits:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Below we will look at the benefits and differences of each program. Current and future recipients should discuss their case with a social security disability lawyer to address specific questions related to an SSDI or SSI claim.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security disability insurance is a program provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration. When you paid into the Social Security program from your earnings, you were paying into these benefits for your future use if you became disabled. Here are a few other considerations regarding SSDI.

SSDI Takes Longer to Process

As previously stated, these benefits take longer to receive approval versus long-term disability insurance. There is a consecutive five-month waiting period before you can draw upon your account. Therefore, receiving benefits may take as long as six months to qualify due to the calendar month basis.

Work Requirements Must Be Met to Receive SSDI

SSDI benefit eligibility requires you to have worked enough time. The SSA calculates your benefits based upon the number of credits you earned throughout your employment history. As of 2019, you receive a single credit for every $1,360 earned with a maximum of four credits for the year. Over time, your credits must meet threshold requirements.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

The SSA manages the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program in conjunction with your state. Eligibility and benefit amounts are subject to local state rules and regulations. However, the federal government has set minimum requirements to receive SSI benefits. To qualify, you must be:

  • Blind, disabled, or age 65 or over;
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • On a low income ($1,400 or less in most states), and;
  • In possession of less than $2,000 in asset ownership

SSI application approvals offer a monthly stipend of $771 per month (or $1,157 per couple) in addition to the income you currently receive. Again, depending upon the state in which you live, you may be eligible for an additional State Supplementary Payment.

The monthly stipend, known as the federal benefit rate, is adjusted each fiscal year. Most states automatically approve SSI recipients for food stamps and Medicaid.

What to do if the SSA Denies Your SSDI/SSI Benefits

There is not anything more frustrating than not receiving the benefits you need in order to survive. If you were denied SSDI/SSI benefits, keep in mind that the outcome is only one adjuster's opinion. You can appeal your claim with the SSA when going through the application process.

Speaking with a social security disability lawyer in your state is the most effective method through which you can fight for the benefits you deserve. Schedule a case review today for the best possible result.