A constant source of confusion for many disability claimants is that they often qualify to apply for two different types of benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
Despite the similar names and criteria, several major differences in how the programs operate can affect the amount of benefits you collect.
Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that workers pay into, so their benefits are based on their income. It’s possible to receive a monthly benefit of up to $2,861, but the average benefit is usually around $1,100 per month.
On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income is a need-based program. Your assets must be below a certain threshold to qualify, and the monthly benefit is capped at $771 as of 2019.
Because SSI is based on financial need, additional rules come into play for SSI beneficiaries. The most common issue is that an individual receiving SSI finds part time work and has their benefits reduced.
After the first $65 of monthly income, the Social Security Administration reduces SSI benefits by 50 cents for every $1 of income an individual receives.
Less commonly understood is how housing can impact SSI benefits.
If you own your own or pay rent on your own, it will probably have affect your monthly SSI benefit, however, if you are staying in someone else’s home or someone else pays your rent, Social Security will typically count this as income and reduce your SSI benefit.
This typically results in a reduction of at least a couple hundred dollars a month, so make sure to consult with an attorney about how your housing situation could impact your SSI case.