What is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
Many disabled U.S. citizens do not fully understand the differences between the two government-administered programs.
Programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be complex and confusing. Two of these programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), are often confused. Both federal programs are meant to provide funds to those considered disabled by government definition, but connections and similarities end there.
What is SSI and What Does it Do?
SSI is meant to provide monetary assistance to Americans with very low incomes who are over 65, have a qualifying disability, or are blind. Additionally, to qualify for SSI, one must:
- Have a low income.
- Have very limited resources.
- Be a U.S citizen or a qualifying alien.
- Live in one of the 50 American States, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands.
- Not leave the United States for 30 or more consecutive days.
- Not be incarcerated or hospitalized.
- Meet other requirements.
Additionally, those applying for SSI will have to pass a means test that shows that they have extremely limited income and less than $2,000 of financial assets. A car and a primary residence do not count against this limit amount. In 2022, a monthly income of no more than $1,767 is necessary to qualify for SSI benefits.
Does Medical Insurance Come With SSI?
Please note that Medicaid is different from Medicare. According to the SSA, SSI recipients are automatically eligible for Medicaid in many states. In some other states, it may be necessary to apply for Medicaid through a different state agency.
What is SSDI and What Does it Do?
SSDI is government insurance that pays benefits to disabled individuals and possibly to their family members. To qualify for SSDI, a person needs to have accumulated years of work credits — like the work credits required to collect Social Security, as these credits are earned by paying Social Security taxes. A person can acquire up to four credits per year. Additionally, to qualify for SSDI, one must:
- Be unable to work because of a medical condition that will result in death or that will last for a minimum of one year
- Meet current SSA disability definitions
- Be younger than the SSA’s full retirement definition.
Like Social Security, SSDI is funded through social security taxes that are paid by both employees and employers. That said, one could still be eligible for SSDI if a person suffers a disability before age 22 or for other more arcane reasons.
Does Medical Insurance Come With SSDI?
Those that qualify for SSDI automatically qualify for Medicare even if they are under 65. However, there can be a 24-month waiting period before some benefits would begin.
Seek Help From a Qualified Florida SSDI Attorney
As you can see, the rules for SSI and SSDI qualification can be confusing. If you have any questions about the implications of either program, it is best to contact a qualified Florida SSI and SSDI attorney. Rooth Law Firm has represented injured and disabled workers in the Tampa Bay Area since 1994. If you have any disability issues, call Rooth Law Firm today at 727-849-3400, or contact us online.