The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may both be the Federal government’s way of providing cash benefits to disabled persons, but both definitely differ in eligibility requirements.
To be an insured SS member or a qualified beneficiary of the SSDI program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that an individual:
- Has acquired the necessary amount of credits (4 credits within a year) through the monthly payment of Social Security taxes (this tax payment is automatically deducted from an employee’s salary and identified as FICA, which means Federal Insurance Contributions Act)
- Is not more than 65 years old (those above 65 would be receiving the SS Retirement benefit instead) and is totally disabled. The cause of the disability need not be work-related, but it should be found in the list of severe medical conditions made by the (SSA). This disability: should also be serious enough to render the insured member incapable of performing the work he/she did before the disability (or any other work, for that matter); has lasted for a year or is expected to last for, at least, a year; and, it can possibly result to death.
Supplemental Security Income or SSI requires only that a person is 65 years old or above, is blind or disabled, and has a very low amount of (or totally no) income or asset. The financial benefits awarded to qualified individuals ought to be used for his/her basic needs – food, clothing and shelter, thus the word ‘supplemental.’ The very low limit on income and asset makes qualifying for the SSI benefits particularly hard, though. Yet, if a person does qualify, then there is no stopping him/her to also apply for (and receive) the SSDI benefit.
Individuals receiving both SSI and SSDI are recipients of what is called, “concurrent benefits.” This can be due to having been awarded a small SSDI payment only, maybe because of not having worked much for the past years or because of low salary. Thus, whatever is lacking from the supposedly maximum amount of benefit one program provides, the other program will add on to. Currently, SSI pays $721 per month (the maximum amount is higher in some states); thus, if the SSDI cash benefit one receives is lower than $721, then SSI will raise it to such amount.
According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, the SSA is strict in evaluating and approving applications, so that only a few are approved, with the bulk of rejected applications ending up in federal courts for reconsideration.
Applicants definitely need legal assistance and one highly-qualified person who can help them in their various benefit claims concern is an Indiana Social Security lawyer. Applicants ought to realize that having legal assistance and being legally represented will make a big difference, from the preparation of all documents and paperwork to the submission and defense of these.