What Are the Similarities and Differences Between SSI and SSDI?
There are SSI and SSDI benefits available to older adults and disabled individuals. What do you know about them?
They’re not the same, and it’s important to understand the similarities and differences to ensure you’re signing up for the right program. Here’s what you need to know about these federal programs.
SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. It’s available at any age if you’re blind or disabled, otherwise, you must be 65 or older to qualify. SSDI is Social Security Disability Insurance and is available at any age, but you must have a qualifying disability.
SSDI Helps Cover Income Loss While SSI Helps Low-Income People
SSDI is designed to help people who do not qualify for Social Security or retirement benefits yet, but have earned enough work credits through a full-time or part-time job. Suppose your mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and can no longer hold a job, but she’s only 60 and unable to retire. SSDI helps fill the income need. The average SSDI payment is $1,223 a month. (January 2022)
SSI is offered to supplement retirement income. It’s available when the money made in retirement isn’t enough to bring a person above the poverty guidelines. As of January 2022, SSI averages about $624 a month.
It is possible to qualify for both of these programs at the same time. The best way to understand if your mother qualifies is by consulting an SSI/SSDI attorney to get the current guidelines.
Health Care Insurance Is Available
Once your mother qualifies for SSI, she’ll also qualify for Medi-Cal, which is helpful when it comes to getting health care and long-term care services. She’ll also qualify for Medicare through SSDI, but that process takes longer. There’s a 24-month waiting period, with the exception of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). With ALS, Medicare insurance is available immediately.
Time Until First Benefit Is Paid
Once you qualify, SSI payments begin immediately on the 1st of the month. SSDI isn’t paid until you’ve had the qualifying disability for six months.
Suppose your elderly mother qualifies for SSI. She would receive payment on the 1st of the month. However, If she has Alzheimer’s disease, must quit her job, and needs SSDI to support her, she must have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease for six months before she gets her first SSDI benefits payment.
The application process can be difficult and time-consuming. By working with an SSI/SSDI attorney, your mother can ease stress and improve the odds of getting approved with her first application. An SSI and SSDI attorney know all of the rules and requirements, so they prove helpful in protecting your mother’s assets while helping her qualify for the benefits she needs.
The Law Office of James Dolenga offers SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, Elder Law & Medi-Cal Planning in Anaheim, California. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299
- Would Medi-Cal Work For Your Mom’s Long-Term Care Needs? - July 29, 2022
- Does Your Dad Qualify for SSI or SSDI? Perhaps both. - July 26, 2022
- Tips for Helping Your Mom Understand Medi-Cal - July 21, 2022