If you've ever been mistaken for a sibling or a family member, you'll understand why people tend to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) confused or lumped together.
One of the most significant differences between the two programs is that SSDI has a time requirement; workers who have worked for at least five years or accumulated a sufficient number of work credits can access SSDI benefits. SSI disability benefits, however, have no such requirement and are available to low-income individuals who have either never had a job or haven't earned enough credits in the job they do work to qualify for SSDI.
Both programs are related, in that they fall under the Social Security Administration's umbrella, and both help people who can't support themselves due to disability.
While SSI does not have the work-credit requirements of SSDI, the program is needs based. This means people qualifying for SSI benefits must have less than $2,000 in assets and a very limited income. Assets can be up to $3,000 for couples.
SSDI candidates who have worked for five years have paid into the Social Security trust fund through payroll taxes. To receive these benefits, a candidate must be less than full retirement age. Once a disability claimant receives SSDI benefits for 29 months, that person is then eligible for Medicare.
These issues may be possible to handle on your own, but many initial claims for SSI or SSDI are rejected. An initial denial doesn't mean your chances at support are over. We believe it is best to receive legal assistance after your application has been denied for the first or second time.
Being unable to work is a stressful situation, and we at Terrazas Henkel P.C. have the experience to help you navigate through these decisions. If you think either of these programs could benefit you, please give our attorneys a call. We're available and want to work with you; call 406-541-2550.