The Social Security Administration administers two primary disability plans, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) also called Title II benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also called Title XVI benefits. The disability analysis is the same under both plans.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two ways that people who have become disabled can receive benefits. Whether you are currently disabled or want to ensure you and your family are taken care of in the case of an unforeseen medical event that leaves you disabled, SSDI and SSI can help you prepare for the future. You can take advantage of the information listed below to better understand what Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income is, who qualifies for it, and if necessary, how you can add this benefit to your long-term financial plan. Contact The Wilmer Law Firm at (866) 532-0301 if you have questions or need clarification on anything related to Social Security disability.
Social Security Disability programs explained:
- History of SSDI
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Requirements
- About Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer
Social Security Disability Insurance vs. Supplemental Security Income
Both SSDI and SSI will pay you cash in the event of a disability. However, in addition to different eligibility requirements, the financial benefit is also very different.
Social Security Disability benefits are the result of your years of hard work and are based on what you’ve paid into Social Security over the course of your career. In other words: you’ve earned it. Your monthly benefit will be based on your average earnings throughout your career that were covered by Social Security. In addition, if you become disabled or if your injury could be fatal, there is a possibility that certain family members can receive your Social Security disability benefits, including your spouse, divorced spouse, children, disabled child, and adult child disabled before the age of 22. Not only will you be taken care of, but your family will be taken care of as well.
Supplemental Security Income is funded through general tax revenue and is only based on financial need. In addition, there is a maximum benefit set yearly by the SSA, with no supplemental benefits from the State of Arizona.
Social Security Disability Insurance Requirements
Social Security Disability Insurance will pay you cash benefits if you meet the medical criteria for having a disability and the earnings criteria needed to qualify for Social Security disability.
Earnings Criteria for SSDI
The qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are determined by whether or not a person has enough work credits. In other words, you must have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes over the course of your career in order to qualify for disability benefits.
The earnings tests for determining the number of work credits needed for Social Security benefits involve two categories to help provide an accurate picture of your work and earnings history. The number of work credits needed to become eligible for disability benefits are predetermined by the SSA based on the following factors:
- Recent Work: Based on your age at the time of disability
- Duration of Work: How long you have worked under Social Security
You can earn up to four work credits a year that apply toward their Social Security Disability Insurance work requirements. Each credit is worth $1,200 in wages, or $4,800 for the four credits for the year.
Applying for SSDI
It is important to note that historically the SSA rejects most applications for SSDI the first time. There are many reasons for the initial rejection which can be as simple as missing a detail on the form to in-adequately answering part of the form. Since anyone applying for SSDI is usually in a situation where they need the benefits as quickly as possible it is advised that you work with an Attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability Insurance.
Click here to learn more about applying for SSDI
About Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is different from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in that it will pay you benefits based on your financial need. The eligibility criteria for SSI is also different. Whether you are disabled or simply aged with little income and unable to work, SSI will provide the funds you need to help meet your basic living expenses.
U.S. citizens who are either blind, disabled or aged and taking in little income are generally eligible to apply for Supplemental Security Income. There are exceptions however, and people who do not fit into this general category can utilize the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool on the SSA website or contact a disability lawyer to help determine if you are eligible for SSI. The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool will outline which benefits you may qualify for, and goes into more detail on qualifications and how to apply.
Applying for SSI
You need to apply for SSI over the phone to start the application and schedule an interview with the SSA. If you are blind or disabled and under 18 years, your guardian or parent can fill in the form on your behalf.
Click here to learn more about applying for SSI
Social Security Disability Process
The process of determining eligibility for either the SSDI or SSI programs are very similar.
Learn more about the Social Security Disability Process here
Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance, how it differs from Supplemental Security Income, and your potential eligibility for disability benefits, please contact The Wilmer Law Firm today. Mr. Wilmer will personally meet with you to examine your case free of charge. He looks forward to talking with you about your options and how he can best secure your financial future when faced with a disability.