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Social Security Disability Versus Supplemental Security Income

The CDC reports that 28% of the population in Florida have a disability. Disabilities include a range of impairments that make it difficult for an individual to do certain activities and interact with the world, which also limits their ability to work and earn an income. The state of Florida provides assistance to individuals with disabilities in two forms—Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Read on to understand the difference between SSDI and SSI and learn for which you should apply.

What Is Social Security Disability (SSDI)?

SSDI is an insurance program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSDI is reserved for individuals with disabilities or conditions that may last for at least a year or may result in death, and which is preventing them from working or starting a new job. Aside from this requirement, the individual may only qualify for a Social Security Disability if they have earned enough credits (28 work credits or have worked 5 to 7 years within the last decade) through tax payments from their previous work.

The SSDI is essentially meant to replace the income the individual can no longer earn due to their disability or medical condition. As such, their dependents, such as their children, may also receive an SSDI benefit.

What Is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program also managed by the SSA. This program is designed to help provide basic living expenses for individuals with disabilities who do not have qualifying work history and/or have low income and assets. The SSI is open to all individuals with qualifying disabilities regardless of their work history, and is thus open to both minors and adults.

The SSA considers multiple aspects in calculating your income and assets and, ultimately, the benefits you receive. At the moment, the federal benefit rate is $794 but if you are earning a small income or receive in-kind support (such as shelter from a relative), these will be subtracted from your benefit.

Can You Apply For Both Benefits?

It is possible to apply and receive both SSDI and SSI benefits. This is called concurrent benefits. It is possible to qualify for concurrent benefits if your SSDI is less than $795 per month. It is also possible to qualify for concurrent benefits if you currently have low income and assets (less than $795 per month) but you have worked long enough to earn the required credits for SSDI. However, in this case, the SSA will include the SSDI in calculating your income, and thus will affect your benefits from SSI.

Is It Beneficial To Collect Concurrent Claims?

Collecting concurrent claims enables individuals to receive a higher amount, and therefore live more comfortably. The SSI, in particular, is supposed to supplement the SSDI. Aside from raising your benefit to $795, the SSI could act as your source of income while you wait for the SSDI’s decision, which usually takes longer.

Contact a Punta Gorda social security lawyer to guide you through the intricate maze of Social Security Disability. We’ll make sure that you receive the benefits you deserve.

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