When it comes to disability assistance, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two programs Americans can lean on. While both programs offer assistance to disabled individuals, there are some key differences. Below, we’ll explain how each disability program works, eligibility requirements and more.

What Is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available for Americans who have spent their working years paying taxes into the Social Security program. To be eligible for this disability program, you must meet four requirements:

  1. First, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “disabled,” which a DDS doctor usually determines.
  2. Second, you must be unable to perform your current job or another one that pays similar wages with your condition’s limitations.
  3. Third, your medical condition’s expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
  4. Lastly, you must have worked 5 in the last 10 years full time in a job that withheld FICA taxes from every paycheck. (These are also commonly known as Social Security taxes.)

If you qualify for SSDI, you’ll typically begin receiving monthly disability payments no sooner than six months after your application date. The amount of money you receive each month depends on how much you contributed through Social Security taxes during your working years. To find your payment amount, the SSA averages your highest wages earned over a 35-year work history. Then, they make adjustments to account for inflation. Your SSDI payment amount should equal 40% of your typical monthly paycheck while working. Today, the average monthly SSDI payment is $1,234.

What Is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was established in order to help children and adults who are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65. SSI benefits cover necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter specifically for households with limited income and resources. Unlike SSDI, SSI benefits come from the general tax revenue and individuals on this disability program are not required to have contributed income during their working years. The most you can receive in monthly SSI as an individual is currently $771. Eligible couples can receive no more than $1,157 in monthly SSI benefits.

You May Qualify for Legal Assistance

For Americans who are considering applying for either of these disability programs, having an experienced disability advocate or attorney on your side throughout the application process can be very beneficial. An experienced legal expert can:

  1. File your claim in a timely manner
  2. Represent you if an appeal is necessary
  3. Potentially maximize your monthly disability payments

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free disability benefits evaluation now!

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