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What Is the Difference Between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance?

The concept of Social Security came about after the Great Depression to address the poverty that the nation faced. The Social Security Act placed a responsibility on the government to financially assist those who were disabled, unemployed, and elderly. While the Act has changed throughout the years, the mission has remained the same—to financially assist those who are in need based disability, age, or income.

Social Security Disability Insurance: Giving Back After a Lifetime of Hard Work

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, offers monthly benefits to workers who have become disabled prior to age 65. To qualify for SSDI, you are required to have worked a number of years in jobs where you paid Social Security taxes. For each complete year you work paying these taxes, you earn four work credits.

The amount of work credits you need to become eligible for SSDI benefits depends on the age you were when you became disabled. The younger you are, the fewer credits you need to qualify. For instance, someone who became disabled at age 40 needs 20 credits—or five years of work—to qualify, while someone who became disabled at 50 would need 28 credits, or seven years of work. You must also have worked recently; the requirements change for applicants of different ages, but applicants 31 and older must have worked a minimum of five of the last ten years.

Income does not affect the amount of benefits received, but other benefits such as workers’ compensation may lower your SSDI benefits. After two consecutive years of receiving SSDI payments, recipients become eligible for Medicare, or Medicaid in special cases.

Supplemental Security Insurance: Helping Those With Financial Need

Supplemental Security Insurance, or SSI, is based purely on a person having a disability that prevents them from working and has thus caused financial need. SSI provides these individuals with a small monthly check as well as Medicaid coverage.

To qualify for SSI, a person must have little in the way of income or assets. For individuals, this limits non-exempt assets to $2000 (which includes bank accounts). Monthly income received from other sources must also total less than $65 before it will begin to affect the monthly SSI payments; for every two dollars received in monthly earnings over $65, SSI payments will lower by one dollar.

For many people whose work credits are not sufficient to qualify for SSDI, SSI may be a viable option. Many people who meet the financial qualifications for SSI may also qualify for food stamps and other assistance as well, which will not affect SSI payments.

If You Have Questions About Your Eligibility or Your Claim Was Denied, Speak With a Lawyer Now

Social Security is a program that is supposed to help you when you need it most. When your claim is initially denied, it can be both frustrating and devastating—but you are not alone. Many, many claims are initially denied, but an experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you get the benefits you deserve. For a free consultation to discuss your claim with an attorney, call Schmidt Kramer today or fill out our online contact form to connect with our firm now!

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