SSDI, SSI, Estate Planning, Elder Law & Medi-Cal Planning in California

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Understanding the Differences Between SSI and SSDI

Have you ever considered the differences between the Social Security Administration (SSA) federal benefits programs known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSI Attorney in Moreno Valley CA: SSI vs SSDI
SSI Attorney in Moreno Valley CA: SSI vs SSDI

Applying for the wrong program will result in a denied application or an inadequate amount of funding for the elderly person’s needs. How can an SSI Attoerney Help?


Take a closer look at these two SSA programs.

What SSI and SSDI Provide

SSI is a basic financial assistance offering for older adults (65 or older) or people with a qualifying disability. To receive SSI, a person must have a limited income and resources.  No income or financial resources is the critical factor with SSI.

The benefits from SSI start the first full month after an approved claim or when the person became eligible for SSI. There’s no long wait.

As of January 2022, the average benefit for SSI is just over $620. There’s an $841 maximum for a single and $1,261 for a couple.

SSDI is specific to people with qualifying disabilities and a work history through an employer or family member. Age is not a factor with SSDI, but you do have to have earned enough work credits during your employment history.

After qualifying for SSDI, the first payment will not be sent until six months from the first full month of disability. If a person becomes disabled in June, six months need to pass, bringing a person to December.

SSDI has a maximum monthly benefit of $3,345 as of January 2022. The average benefit is $1,223.

Some people qualify for both SSI and SSDI. If someone meets the income requirements and has a work history, it’s possible to get benefits from each program.

Health Care Coverage for People on SSI and SSDI

Income is important, but health care coverage is also important for older adults who are dealing with chronic health conditions. How quickly a person gets onto Medicaid varies between programs.

People on SSI often qualify for immediate Medicaid health care coverage without issue. People who qualify for SSDI must wait up to two years before they qualify for Medicaid unless they have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). For people with ALS, Medicaid coverage is immediate.

How Do You Apply?

This can be tricky to understand. You can complete and submit an online application for SSI if you are over the age of 18 but not yet 65. If you’re older than 65, you must go to the local SSA office or call the agency. SSDI applications are allowed online or by phone.

It takes up to five months to process SSI and SSDI applications. That may not be acceptable in certain situations, so it’s worth discussing the qualifications for an expedited application. Applying for either of these programs doesn’t guarantee acceptance.

Navigate the complex application with the help of an SSI or SSDI attorney. If you have an expert’s assistance, you won’t make mistakes on the application that lead to a denial of benefits. Schedule a consultation with an SSI/SSDI attorney today.


The Law Office of James Dolenga offers  Elder Law & Medi-Cal Planning,  Estate Planning, SSDI, and SSI Attorney in Moreno Valley. Call today for your legal consultation. (866) 772-5299



James Dolenga, JD

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