The government has two different benefit programs for those unable to work because of medical issues. Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are often confused, but if you are trying to get benefits it would be big waste of time to apply for the wrong one. Read on to learn more about what each program does and to decide which one is best for you if you can no longer work.
The similarities: There are really more differences than similarities. Both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and both use the same medical qualifications. If you medically qualify with a certain condition for one, you would also qualify for the other. But, it should be noted, you cannot get benefits from both programs at the same time.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
This form of benefits targets those who have worked an adequate amount of time and earned enough money from their past jobs. If you have a sketchy work history, this is probably not the right program for your needs. For those who have earned money from jobs, you may have noted the deduction for Social Security along with the taxes on your pay stub. This money goes into your account to pay for disability needs as well as your eventual retirement. The benefit amount is based on how much money you earned in your most recent job.
The SSA bases your qualifications on something called work credits, and this issue can be confusing. Every $1,200 dollars you earn gets you one work credit, and you will need at least 40 work credits to get SSDI benefits. Not only that, but at least 20 of those credits must come from the most recent 10 year period. Those who are younger (under 31) and have not had the opportunity to qualify using work credits will be evaluated using a different calculation.
Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI)
This category of benefits targets those who have very little income or property, and do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. You must have no more than $2,000 in assets, not counting your home and car, to qualify.
If you have identified the correct program, but have been turned down, don't give up. Many people get denied on their initial try, and you should take action quickly to file an appeal. Speak to a Social Security attorney like Timothy W Hudson Attorney who can assist you in your quest to get your benefits approved on appeal.