Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are two completely different programs that serve different needs. Can you qualify for them both? The answer is yes, some people can claim both. The Social Security Administration (SSA) calls these concurrent benefits. Consulting with an SSI attorney can help you understand the requirements.
The Difference Between SSI and SSDI
SSI offers a payment to qualifying people with limited income. To qualify, you must have a disability or blindness and be 65 or older. You also must meet the income requirements. In 2022, the maximum SSI benefit is $841 (single) or $1,261 (couple). Both parties making up the couple have to qualify.
Generally, the SSA doesn’t allow SSI if your assets (excluding house and car) are more than $2,000 (single) or $3,000 (couple). You do not have to have worked to qualify for SSI.
SSDI is available to all ages as long as they have a qualifying disability (mental or physical) that keeps them from being able to hold a job. It’s a way to earn money prior to reaching the age of retirement. For example, if you’re diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and have lost the memory skills to hold a job but are not old enough for retirement, SSDI can help.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough work credits in the past ten years. You also need to prove you have the disability or qualifying condition you claim, which means doctors need to fill out paperwork.
One thing to keep in mind is that SSI benefits start when your application is approved. SSDI begins six months after your qualifying disability began. If you apply for SSDI as soon as your doctor says you can no longer work, you have to wait half a year for payments to begin.
With SSDI, you qualify for Medicare benefits two years after your application is approved. With SSI, you qualify for Medicaid straight away. This is helpful in making sure you have insurance benefits to help pay for your doctor bills and prescription medications.
When Would You Qualify for Both?
You can qualify for both, but it can be difficult as your SSDI payments will count as income when it comes to your SSI application. Navigating this is important as you don’t want to take SSDI if it will hurt your chances at SSI.
You do have many requirements to meet and your applications must be completed currently. Get peace of mind knowing you haven’t messed up your chances of being approved for both programs by hiring an SSI/SSDI elder law attorney.
By hiring an elder law specialist in both SSI and SSDI, you have expert advice and assistance with the application process. Your application is more likely to get approved on your first try. Learn more by talking to an SSI/SSDI attorney today.