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SSI vs. SSDI – What’s the Difference?

May 31, 2022 Social Security Disability

When it comes to social security benefits, those who are new to the system are exposed to a confusing array of abbreviations. The SSA – that is, the Social Security Administration – administers two types of disability benefits: SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Income). Some people qualify for one, some people qualify for the other, and some people qualify for both. 

For those who have recently become disabled and unable to work, understanding these abbreviations and acronyms can leave you feeling thoroughly confused and completely overwhelmed. A Tampa disability attorney can explain the benefits available, which ones you qualify for, and then help you through the application process

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 

SSI is a disability benefit available to those who are on a limited income and are either disabled or 65 or older. So in order to qualify for SSI, you must be able to demonstrate the following: 

  1. You meet the income qualification – you have low or no income; AND
  2. You are 65 or older; OR
  3. You are disabled or blind. 

If you are 65 or older, you do not need to prove that you are blind or disabled. If you are under 65, you can still qualify if you are disabled or blind (even if you are only partially blind). 

That said, you must meet the income qualification, which is difficult to summarize. The SSA will look at a variety of factors to determine whether you qualify, but generally speaking, your benefits will be adjusted based on how much income you receive. A Tampa disability attorney can determine whether you qualify for SSI and estimate what your monthly benefit will be. 

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) 

SSDI is a disability benefit that is available to those who meet the following two criteria: 

  1. They are disabled; and
  2. They have sufficient work credits

There is no age requirement, but you must have a long enough employment history in order to qualify for benefits. Generally speaking, you can earn up to 4 credits per year and you need to have at least 40 credits to qualify, with at least half of those having been earned in the last 10 years. There are some exceptions for younger workers and others – if you have questions about whether you qualify, a Tampa disability attorney can help. 

Can You Qualify for Both SSI and SSDI?  

One of the things that can make this confusing is that SSI and SSDI are overlapping benefits. As a result, some people do qualify for both SSI and SSDI – they are disabled, have limited income, and have sufficient work credits. While both benefits together can certainly help, you should be aware that they will offset. A Tampa disability attorney can explain how this will affect your claim. 

Disabled and Need Help? Contact Tampa Disability Attorney Mike Murburg

The disability benefits system is difficult for non-lawyers to navigate. Even once you get past the terminology, you then need to complete the application process. Mistakes can lead to delays and even cause your claim to be denied. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve – contact us at 813-264-5363 to schedule a free consultation.