Finding oneself in a situation where finances are tight due an inability to work can be more than troublesome. In some cases, a chronic condition or sudden disabling illness or injury can prevent a person from working and earning a steady income. In such cases, individuals may wonder whether they could qualify for government benefits, but they may be confused about the differences between SSI and SSDI.
Though SSI and SSDI sound similar in acronyms, it is important to know that they are different programs and provide benefits for different groups of people and for different reasons. SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income and helps individuals ages 65 and over and individuals with disabilities regardless of their ages who have limited resources and limited access to income. SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance and helps individuals with qualifying disabilities who are unable to work but who previously worked and contributed to the Social Security Fund.
When it comes to qualifying for these programs and receiving benefits, the following differences are also important to know:
- SSI takes age, disability and financial details into consideration.
- SSDI takes the disabling condition, work history, earning credits, and inability to work or get a new job into account.
- SSI begins one month after a person is determined eligible for benefits.
- SSDI takes six months after the date the disability occurred, which is often determined by the Social Security Administration.
- The amount of SSI received may be affected by other sources of income.
- The amount of SSDI benefits received may not be affected by other income, unless it is earned wages.
Of course, several other differences between SSI and SSDI exist, and it is important for individuals who need financial assistance to know these differences. Fully understanding the programs, how they could help and how individuals could qualify may better ensure that parties apply for the right type of benefits for their particular situation. Because this type of endeavor can easily be confusing, having legal assistance may prove useful.