What Makes SSI and SSD Benefits Different?

What makes SSI and SSD benefits different?

If you are confused by the differences between SSI and SSD benefits, you’re not alone. Both disability programs are overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA), provide financial assistance to those in need, and at face value share similar characteristics. But knowing the key differences between the two programs can save you a lot of headache and pave the way for a smoother application process. Here are a few key differences that can help you distinguish whether SSI or SSD benefits are right for you.

What Are SSD Benefits?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program designed to assist hardworking Americans who are unable to work for at least 12 months due to a physical or mental medical condition. According to the SSA, individuals who may be qualified for this program have paid into the Social Security tax fund through their employment, meet the SSA’s definition of disability, and have accumulated enough work credit. The monthly amount that you receive in SSD benefits is based on your earnings record. By contrast, SSI takes your assets into consideration before determining eligibility.

In addition to benefits, qualified recipients will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B after receiving SSD benefits for two years. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and helps pay for inpatient care and select follow-up costs. Medicare part B is standard medical insurance and assists recipients with paying for outpatient care and other medical expenses. Having this type of medical coverage can do a world of good, especially for disabled individuals who lack proper coverage.

What is SSI?

According to the SSA, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income program that receives funding from the general tax revenue. It provides aid for basic life necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. To be eligible for the program, you must be considered low income, over the age of 65, blind, or disabled. Children under the age of 18 with certain mental or physical impairments may also be able to receive monthly SSI benefits.

Unlike SSD benefits, your eligibility for the program is not based on your employment history, rather your means. SSI recipients may also be able to receive heath benefits through Medicaid and food from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Select recipients may also be eligible for additional supplemental programs specific to the state they reside.

Seeking Legal Aid

No matter which program fits your needs, you have the right to seek legal assistance when applying for either SSI or SSD benefits. Attorneys and advocates have the expertise to guide your application down the correct path by collecting proper medical documentation, dealing with the SSA on your behalf, and even representing your claim if an appeal is necessary.

If you’re interested in finding out if you may be qualified for legal help, fill out our free disability benefits evaluation below.

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