SSI vs. SSDI

 

The Social Security Administration uses two separate programs for disability benefits. The program you use depends on your working status through the years. Those who have worked and have paid into the system for a given number of years can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, also known as Title II, SSDI, or DIB. Supplemental Security Income, also called Title XVI or SSI, is based solely on an individual's income and resources, not on whether they have paid into the system.

 

Listed below are more of the specifics of each program.

 

 

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits: SSDI

  • To be fully insured, individuals must have worked 5 out of 10 years prior to the date of disability, earning 20 out of 40 quarters of coverage.  Special rules apply for those under age 31 (usually 6 out of 13 quarters of earnings are required for eligibility).

  • A claimant may also be eligible for Widow's or Children's Disability Benefits (DWB or CDB) on a deceased spouse's or parent's wage record.

  • The waiting period for benefits to begin is five full calendar months after the established date of disability.

  • Retroactive payment only goes back a maximum of 12 months prior to the date of application (six months for CDB). Previously denied applications that were not appealed may be reopened and revised under certain circumstances.

  • Timely filing of claims is important. You lose your insured status approximately 5 years after you stop working. An application can be filed after the date last insured (DLI), but the date of the disability must be established before the DLI for you to be eligible for benefits.

  • Auxiliary benefits are payable to unmarried, minor children and disabled children of any age of the disabled individual (a set amount, divided by the total number of eligible children).

  • Auxiliary benefits may also be payable for dependent parents of the claimant.

  • Medicare entitlement is automatic after 24 months of payments.

 

Supplemental Security Income: SSI

  • You do not have to have EVER worked to be eligible, and you can file an infinite number of times. However, the benefit amount is usually much lower than that for SSDIB.

  • Benefits are based on income and resources, and a complicated formula is used to establish eligibility. Income can be actual (earned or unearned, e.g. LTD BENEFITS) or in-kind (housing or food assistance from family members, light bills paid by church group, etc.). The number of children living in the household can also affect the benefit amount.

  • The resource limit is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. This DOES NOT include your primary residence or one vehicle.

  • There is no waiting period for benefits; they begin the month following the month that disability is established or application is filed, whichever is later.

  • There are no retroactive payments (unless a prior application is reopened and revised).

  • There are no additional benefits for dependents.

  • Medicaid entitlement is automatic, effective the same month as benefit payments.

 

 

Important Note:

***PLEASE NOTE, THIS INFORMATION IS CORRECT AS OF THE DATE POSTED, BUT IS NOT WARRANTED, AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE, AS SOCIAL SECURITY IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING THE RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING THESE PROGRAMS.

 

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