SSI and SSDI: The differences between them

You suffered an injury, and now you're unable to work. Over time, you've realized that your disability is permanent and won't allow you to do the jobs you once did. Now, you want to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

There are a few significant differences between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income that you should know if you plan to seek them out.

What is the difference between Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability benefits?

SSDI is a benefit that can be paid to disabled workers who have accumulated enough work credits to qualify. On the other hand, SSI is available to many people, including disabled low-income individuals (even children) who may or may not also qualify for some amount of SSDI. Their work history is not a factor for eligibility.

Should you apply for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income together?

Generally, the claims representative will take both applications for SSDI and SSI at once and issue you an immediate denial based on your finances if you're ineligible for SSI due to your income or assets. If your SSI claim isn't denied for financial reasons, the SSI and SSDI claims will proceed to the disability evaluation process together.

If your disability evaluation is successful, you may be entitled to SSI for a short period of time, then SSDI -- or you may receive a benefit from both programs simultaneously (depending on your situation).

An attorney can help you fill out the information needed to make your disability evaluation process easier and more likely to be successful. Our site has more on this topic and the steps you can take to apply for these benefits.

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