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SSDI or SSI: What Makes These Programs Different?

Social Security disability insurance is available as SSDI programs or SSI programs. Both types of Social Security insurance are intended to provide financial assistance to people who cannot earn income due to a mental or physical disability. The main discrepancy between SSDI and SSI is how the SSA determines eligibility for either program.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Eligibility for SSI is based on the needs of the applicant. To qualify for SSI, your resources, assets and income must not exceed a specific monthly amount–$2000 for an individual and $3000 for a couple. Cash on hand, bank accounts, land, vehicles and anything convertible to cash are considered resources by the SSA. Qualifying SSI disabilities include physical and mental impairments that makes it impossible for the applicant to engage in “substantial gainful activity”, is expected to cause death and will continue affecting the applicant for at least the next year. Unlike SSDI, which relies on a person’s work history to determine eligibility, SSI does not require an applicant to have any work history.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

You must have a fairly extensive work history and a qualifying disability to be approved for SSDI. If you became disabled before you turned 24, you will need to have worked at least 18 months during the three years before being diagnosed with a disabling health condition. If you are between 24 and 30 years old, you will have to show the SSA you worked half the time between the ages of 21 and 30. SSDI applicants older than 31 must have worked five out of the 10 years prior to being disabled.

Since SSDI programs are based on employment history, benefit amounts vary dramatically according to how much an applicant earned while working. The best way to estimate your SSDI payments is to check your Social Security statement, which provides information about your estimated SS and SSDI benefits.

Applying for SSDI or SSI can be confusing and time-consuming. Contacting London Disability to schedule an appointment with a disability representative can expedite and facilite the process of qualifying for either benefits program. Call us today.

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