Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are often confused for each other for a variety of reasons. Not only are their abbreviations similar, but the programs perform similar functions. It also doesn’t help that they’re both among the largest and most common federal social security programs. However, applying for the wrong program can be costly, wasting valuable time when you need financial security assistance. Let’s take a few moments to discuss the important difference between these two programs.
What Is SSI?
The primary role of Supplemental Security Income is to provide benefits for low-income individuals who have either never worked, or worked so little that they don’t have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. This means qualifying for SSI is considerably more difficult, as it requires that you pass a “means test.” Essentially, if you have less than $2,000 in assets and a very limited source of income, you may be able to qualify for SSI.
SSI is also funded differently from SSDI as well. Whereas SSDI is funded directly out of the Social Security trust fund, SSI is funded entirely by general fund taxes. SSI recipients are also usually eligible to receive Medicaid benefits and food stamps, depending on their income levels and where they live.
What is SSDI?
Social Security Disability Insurance is what most people immediately think of when they think of the social security program. This system is funded entirely by payroll taxes (which you see taken out of your check each pay period) and is used primarily to assist those who are still of working age, but have become badly injured to the point where they need financial assistance.
Those who qualify for this program must have earned enough “work credits” through completing enough hours at their job to qualify and be below the retirement age of 65 but over the age of 18. However, dependents of a disabled person, such as their spouse or children, could also qualify to receive auxiliary benefits.Which of these programs is right for you? Discuss your case with a Richmond social security lawyer from Harbison & Kavanagh today! Call us at (804) 823-2050 to arrange a case evaluation.