SSDI and SSI: What’s the Difference?
When the vast majority of people apply for Social Security disability benefits, the worker at SSA taking the claim will automatically put in applications for both SSDI and SSI. So what’s the difference?
For both types of claim, you must prove that you have an impairment or combination of impairments that will prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months. That’s the medical side of disability.
The difference shows up on the technical, or non-medical, side. Eligibility for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is based on the Social Security taxes you’ve paid in over your years of working. To be eligible (non-medically), you have to have earned a set number of hours over your lifetime (this number goes up as you age) AND you have to have earned 20 credits in the last 10 years (meaning you must have worked and paid taxes 5 of the last 10 years). If you qualify for SSDI, you will also automatically qualify for Medicare 24 months after your first disability check.
Eligibility for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is based on your income and resources. Even if you’ve never worked, or have worked but not enough to be covered for SSDI, you might be eligible for SSI. For example, a married couple cannot have more than $3,000 in assets. A single person cannot have more than $2,000 in assets. Household monthly income is also considered. If you qualify for SSI, you’ll also qualify for Medicaid, effective immediately.
If you have questions about what types of benefits you may qualify for, contact the experienced disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly today at 251-343-1111 for a free case evaluation. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to the Appeals Council to Federal Court.