The Social Security Administration (SSA) utilizes two fantastic programs to assist blind and/or disabled people throughout the United States. If you’re disabled or impaired, you may even be considering submitting applications of your own. However, before you do, we ask you to take a moment and look below at some of the differences between the two to ensure you’re making the best decision for your family!
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
According to the SSA, Social Security Disability Insurance “provides benefits to disabled or blind persons who are ‘insured’ by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund.”
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income, on the other hand, is a little different. “The SSI program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind, and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources.”
Can You Have Both?
In some cases, if you’re able to meet the strict criteria of each, you may be eligible to receive “concurrent” benefits. For more information on whether or not you may qualify for concurrent benefits, you should seek the advice of professional attorneys, like ours at Harris Law, who can review your unique case.
So What’s The Difference?
Contrary to what most people believe, and despite the many similarities between the two, both benefits programs are actually quite different. Being informed of all the dissimilarities between the two, however, can help you determine which is right for you.
- SSDI payments are paid through a sanctioned “disability trust fund.”
- SSI payments are paid through “general tax revenues.”
- SSDI requires candidates to “meet Social Security’s disability criteria” and be “‘insured’ due to contributions made to FICA” by their own earnings or the earnings of their parents or spouse.
- SSI applicants must also meet disability criteria; however, they must also “have limited income and resources.”
Health Insurance Coverage:
- SSDI provides beneficiaries with Medicare, including “hospital insurance (Part A), supplementary medical insurance (Part B), and Medicare Advantage (Part C),” as well as “voluntary prescription drug benefits (Part D).”
- SSI provides beneficiaries with access to Medicaid.
Determining Benefits Amount:
- SSDI benefits are based on a person’s “lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security.” If you receive any other assistance, or are apart of any other benefits programs such as workers compensation, your total benefits amount may be reduced. Typically, payments are adjusted every year to account for any changes in cost-of-living. SSDI benefits can also be paid to your dependents.
- SSI benefits are determined by subtracting your “countable income” from the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) and then adding any state supplement (if applicable). Some income can be excluded, and the FBR, like SSDI benefits payments, is adjusted each year to account for cost-of-living differences.
State Supplemental Payments:
- According to the SSA, “there is no state supplemental payment with the SSDI.”
- Some states, including Michigan, may offer SSI recipients a small additional state supplement on top of their normal benefits.
Let Us Help!
For additional information on SSDI and SSI benefits programs, and whether or not your may qualify for either or both of them, we encourage you to put your trust in our seasoned attorneys at Harris Law today! Call 231.347.4444 or fill out the free consultation form in the sidebar to schedule your free personal consultation.