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Q: What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?

When applying for disability benefits, many people get confused between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The main difference is that SSDI is for an individual who has worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 5 years of the last 10 years. SSI is for people with limited income and resources who have not paid Social Security taxes. 

Your monthly disability benefit amount on SSDI is based on how much you made while you were paying into Social Security taxes. Monthly benefit amounts can vary greatly from person to person, but the average monthly benefit amount for 2020 is approximately $1,200.

Your monthly payment for SSI is based on need and can vary, but there is a maximum Federal SSI benefit for which people are eligible. Pennsylvania will also supplement your SSI benefit with additional payments, depending on your income, living arrangements, and other factors. 

When it comes to medical coverage, individuals receiving SSDI will get Medicare coverage automatically after receiving disability benefits for two years. Medicare is the U.S.’s health insurance program for people 65 and older, but people on disability can qualify for it, as well. For people receiving SSI, most are automatically eligible for Medicaid, health coverage for lower income individuals. 

If you need help filing for Social Security disability or appealing a denial, it’s time to contact a Social Security lawyer. Harrisburg residents are encouraged to call the attorneys at Schmidt Kramer for a free consultation at (717) 888-8888