SSD vs SSI: Key Differences You Should Know

What is the difference between SSD and SSI? It would be a mistake to assume that they are the same, which is why understanding the sharp contrast that distinguishes one from the other. For instance, SSD stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. 

Below, we’ll identify the key differences between them. Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Ascend Disability can help you navigate the complex process of securing SSDI benefits. Contact us today.

Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance? 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) helps disabled individuals who have a qualifying history of work either through a family member (such as a parent or spouse) or their own employment. 

If you pay close attention to the fine print of deductions on your paycheck, you will notice that part of your income helps to fund this program – even if you are self-employed.  It is essentially designed to work like a retirement benefit with a strict eligibility requirement. Once you earn a specific number of credits through your payroll tax contributions, you will become eligible. 

The Social Security Administration has a chart used to determine exactly how many quarters of coverage are needed for an applicant to pass the work test requirement.  To do the math, you must: 

  • Take the year that you developed the disability.
  • Subtract the year that you turned 22 years old.

That does not necessarily mean that those who have not yet turned 22 years old cannot qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. A minimum of six quarters of coverage applies to those younger than 22 as well to be considered for benefits. 

However, the circumstances of your disability along with a doctor’s statement confirming those conditions are required. For example, the mental or physical disability must be expected to last for at least one year to qualify for these benefits. 

Can I Qualify for Supplemental Security Income? 

While SSD is funded by payroll tax revenue, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is funded by taxes in general. Another difference between SSD and SSI is that SSI is not based on your work history at all. Removing the work history requirement from the equation means that you are eligible to receive SSI even if your income disqualifies you from receiving SSD. 

In most cases, SSI benefits are available for: 

  • Blind or disabled adults
  • Blind or disabled children
  • People over the age of 65

In most cases, SSI is typically for people who generate $1,913 or less from work in monthly income, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Your assets are also analyzed, including the money you have in your bank accounts and the current value of your owned vehicle(s), which are usually expected to be at most $2,000 (individuals) or $3,000 (couples). 

An additional consideration is offered if you are applying for these benefits on behalf of your qualifying child. 

How Much Money Can I Get from SSDI? 

When it comes to SSDI, the amount that you have contributed to the system plays a key role in calculating how much you can receive from it. Reports show that the higher your salary, the higher your monthly benefit amount. SSDI payments are typically much higher than SSI payment amounts. 

SSDI payments are typically higher than SSI payments

It is highly recommended to consult the advice of an attorney who specializes in Social Security benefits to help you work through the math and your specific case to see how much you should expect to receive from the program 

How Much Money Can I Get from SSI? 

Since SSI has nothing to do with your payroll contributions, several other key factors play a role in the calculation of this benefit amount. In addition to your income, your needs and resources are also examined and compared to the maximum federal rate. 

Depending on your specific needs and state, you may even be able to receive a monthly supplement to increase the assistance provided to you.  

When Will I Start Receiving Benefits from SSI or SSDI? 

Regardless of your age or circumstances, the start date for receiving benefits is standard for each benefit category.  If you qualify for SSI, then your benefits will begin after the first full month after your claim was filed or the date that you were determined to be eligible for SSI, whichever date is later. 

If you qualify for SSDI, then your benefits will begin at the sixth full month of your qualifying disability. Keep in mind that the clock for this 6-month period will not start until the first full month after the Social Security Administration decides to start the disability. 

Call an Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer

This is a general overview of the benefits and requirements associated with SSD and SSI with a primary focus on the significant differences that separate one from the other. However, you should still consult a Social Security disability lawyer to discuss your particular case and learn if you qualify.

Our experienced lawyers at Ascend Disability can help you navigate the application process. Contact us today at (855) 445-9787 for a free consultation!

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