Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are closely related programs in the United States, both overseen by the same federal department. However, they have distinct differences. While both programs provide support to individuals with disabilities, SSDI focuses solely on this purpose. On the other hand, SSI is viewed as an earned benefit, as eligibility is influenced by factors such as work and employment history, implying contributions toward it.
However, SSDI is specifically available to individuals with disabling, long-term injuries or conditions, making it inaccessible to the majority. Moreover, it imposes criteria for disability, rendering it challenging to access and claim for those who qualify.
Distinguishing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program in the United States designed to provide financial assistance to elderly, blind, and disabled individuals with limited income and resources. Managed by the Social Security Administration, SSI aims to ensure that these vulnerable populations can access essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter. Eligibility criteria include factors such as income, assets, and disability status.
In many states, recipients may also qualify for Medicaid, which assists with healthcare expenses. SSI benefits play a crucial role for many individuals who might otherwise struggle to meet their basic needs and maintain a satisfactory standard of living.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program in the United States offering income assistance to individuals unable to work due to a disability.
SSDI eligibility hinges on an individual’s work history and earnings, with benefits calculated based on their average lifetime earnings and distributed through work credits.
After a waiting period, SSDI recipients may also become eligible for Medicare, which assists with healthcare expenses. SSDI serves as a vital support system for individuals unable to work due to a disability, aiding them in maintaining financial stability.
What sets SSDI and SSI apart are their eligibility requirements and funding origins.
SSDI is accessible to individuals with an established work history who are incapacitated by a disability, with benefits calculated based on their prior earnings and tax contributions. Consequently, it is typically regarded as an earned benefit, though exceptions exist where it can be claimed without prior work history.
On the other hand, SSI eligibility hinges on financial need and is open to disabled, visually impaired, or elderly individuals with restricted income and assets, irrespective of their employment history. SSI is funded through general tax revenues.
Why is SSDI difficult to obtain?
Qualifying for SSDI necessitates accruing sufficient work credits throughout one’s employment history, and it’s exclusively available to individuals with disabilities. Both programs have their distinct criteria for defining disability, which can lead to subjective determinations and subsequent rejections for applicants.
Some SSDI prerequisites include: refraining from substantial gainful activity, which is defined as earning at least $1,470 per month, or $2,460 if blind. Having an impairment listed in the “Blue Book” or presenting a condition with similar severity and impairment, manifesting required symptoms.
Enduring a disability that markedly disrupts daily life, rendering the individual incapable of performing any suitable job. The disability must persist for a year or be anticipated to last a year or result in death.