Ever since he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, you worry about your dad. He struggles to keep up with his bills. You’ve heard about SSI and SSDI. Perhaps, you wonder if he qualifies for either. Here’s what you need to know:
A Quick Breakdown of SSI and SSDI
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income, while SSDI is Social Security Disability Insurance. Basically, SSI helps provide additional income to people with disabilities or age 65 or older.
On the other hand, SSDI is only available to people who have worked and paid enough in work credits. Typically, SSDI is available to a person who is too young for retirement but who has a disability or health condition that prevents them from being able to work.
While the maximum benefit is $841 monthly if your dad qualifies for SSI. By comparison, SSDI has a maximum benefit of $3,345. But, if your dad meets the requirements with both programs, he can qualify for both.
With SSI, he’ll automatically be covered by Medicaid, which is essential when covering his medical bills. However, SSDI may require him to wait two years before he can qualify for Medicare.
What Rules Apply to SSI and SSDI?
One of the most critical factors regarding SSI and SSDI is your dad’s age. If he’s 65 or older and meets the other criteria, he may qualify for SSI. If he hasn’t reached retirement age yet and needs to stop working due to his health condition, he must apply for SSDI.
He has to be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal alien (registered and approved by the Department of Homeland Services or who meets one of the other criteria for eligible aliens). He cannot be a patient or reside in a facility where the government already pays for his care or room and board.
If your dad is an eligible alien, he must live in the U.S. If he’s outside of the U.S. for more than 30 consecutive days, he must be back for 30 consecutive days to qualify for the next payment cycle. Suppose he’s a U.K. citizen and goes home for two months. He will forfeit SSI or SSDI during that second month. Likewise, he must return to the U.S. and be here for an entire month before benefits are reinstated.
There’s one more thing to keep in mind. It can take up to six months for your dad’s SSI or SSDI application to get processed. Notably, the average falls between three and five months. If he’s finding it hard to pay his bills, it’s beneficial to have him work with an elder law attorney specializing in SSI and SSDI.
With an SSI and SSDI attorney, your dad’s chances of approval with the first application attempt are higher. It’s worth it. Schedule a consultation with an SSI/SSDI attorney today.