We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

What Is The Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

One of the significant differences between SSI and SSDI is that determination of SSI is done based on limited resources and income while the determination of SSDI is based on work credits and disability. 

Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance are both federal disability benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration, but they have key differences.


Factors SSI SSDI
Eligibility Criteria SSI is a needs-based program designed to provide financial assistance to individuals with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or elderly. Eligibility is based on financial need, and applicants must meet strict income and asset limits and have a qualifying disability. SSDI is an insurance program that provides benefits to disabled individuals who have a work history and have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. Eligibility is based on your work credits earned based on your income and employment history.
Funding Source The benefits of SSI are funded by general tax revenues, including federal funds. The program is aimed at providing a basic level of income support to individuals with limited means. SSDI benefits are funded through Social Security payroll taxes paid by workers and employers. To be eligible, you must have earned enough work credits by paying into the Social Security system through employment.
Benefit Amount The maximum SSI benefit amount is set annually by the federal government. The actual benefit amount varies based on factors such as income, living arrangements, and other sources of financial support. In addition to the federal SSI benefit, some states may provide a supplemental payment to further assist with living expenses. The amount of SSDI benefits is based on your average lifetime earnings covered by Social Security. The actual benefit amount can vary depending on your earnings history and the age you become disabled. Family members of disabled workers may also be eligible for additional benefits.
Medicare/Medicaid Eligibility Eligibility for SSI automatically qualifies you for Medicaid health coverage in most states. Medicaid helps cover medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications. After a waiting period of two years from the onset of disability, SSDI recipients become eligible for Medicare health coverage. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that helps cover medical expenses for individuals aged 65 and older or those with disabilities.
Income and Asset Limits  Strict income and asset limits apply No specific income or asset limits
Family Benefits No additional benefits for family members Eligible family members of disabled workers may receive auxiliary benefits
Work History Requirement Not required Requires a work history and payment of Social Security taxes
Availability for Children Available for disabled children under 18 with limited income and resources Available for disabled adult children (over 18) if they became disabled before age 22
State Supplement Some states provide a supplemental payment to SSI recipients No supplemental payment is available

Can I Receive Both SSI and SSDI?

Yes, it is possible to receive both SSI and SSDI benefits simultaneously. This is commonly referred to as “concurrent benefits.” However, it’s important to note that the total amount of your benefits from both programs combined cannot exceed the maximum federal benefit rate for SSI.

If you are approved for SSI and SSDI, the amount of your SSI benefit will be adjusted to take into account the SSDI benefits you are receiving. The combined benefits should not exceed the maximum federal benefit rate for SSI, which is determined annually by the Social Security Administration. 

You must inform the  Social Security Administration if you are receiving benefits from both programs, as they will need to coordinate the amounts and ensure that you are not receiving an overpayment.


How to Apply for SSI and SSDI

To apply for SSI and SSDI, you can follow these general steps:

  • Gather Necessary Information: Collect the information and documents you’ll need for the application process. This may include your Social Security number, birth certificate or proof of age, medical records, work history, income and asset information, and contact information for healthcare providers and employers.
  • Start the Application Process: You can choose to apply online, over the phone, or in person at a local Social Security office. To apply online, visit the Social Security Administration’s website at https://www.ssa.gov/. To apply by phone or in person, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment.
  • Complete the Application: Fill out the application forms accurately and provide all requested information.

What is the Processing Time of SSI and SSDI Applications?

The processing time for SSI and SSDI applications can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of your case, the availability of medical evidence, and the Social Security Administration’s current workload. Generally, the processing time can range from a few months to more than a year. 

The initial review of an SSI or SSDI application typically takes an average of three to five months. In certain cases involving severe medical conditions, the  Social Security Administration has expedited processing programs such as Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determination. 

These programs aim to fast-track disability claims that meet the  Social Security Administration’s criteria for disability. If your condition qualifies for CAL or QDD, it may result in a faster processing time.

What Happens If My SSDI and SSI Application Gets Rejected?

If your application for both SSDI and SSI benefits were denied, it can be disheartening, but it does not necessarily mean the end of your pursuit of disability benefits. Here are the steps you can take if your application is denied:

  • Understand the Reason for Denial: Carefully review the denial notice provided by the Social Security Administration. 
  • File an Appeal: If you believe your disability claim was wrongfully denied, you have the right to appeal the decision 60 days after the decision. The appeal process typically involves several stages:
  1. Reconsideration
  2. Administrative Law Judge Hearing
  3. Appeals Council Review

Need Legal Help? Contact The Law Offices of Chermol & Fishman, LLC.

The disability claim process can be lengthy, requiring patience and persistence. You may want to consult a Houston Disability Lawyer experienced in Social Security disability cases. 

They can guide you through the appeals process, help gather relevant medical evidence, and present a strong case on your behalf.  Schedule a free case consultation by calling 1-888-774-7243 or by completing our contact form online.

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