What is SSI and What is SSDI?

The primary issue I see when practicing in this area of law is that prospective clients are unaware of the benefits to which they are entitled from the government. Individuals will walk into my office and simply just say, “I need help.” Usually, this help comes in the form of financial assistance from the government for individuals who are making limited income and/or have a disability which makes it difficult for them to participate in substantially gainful activity.

The Social Security Administration administers Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In doing so, the Federal Government pays a monthly benefit to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. This benefit may also be conferred upon children who are blind and disabled. (I will write a post on children’s SSI soon!). Individuals who qualify for SSI may also be eligible for other Federal and State benefit programs (i.e., SNAP or TANF); however, each benefit program does affect the income level of the other.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is slightly different from SSI. SSDI acts as a quasi-insurance for individuals who have worked for a certain number of years and have made contributions to Social Security throughout their tenure. The primary perceived benefit of SSDI is that an individual who receives SSDI for two-years will become eligible for Medicare. Thankfully, an individual who qualifies for SSDI has the ability to receive partial benefits for their spouse and children as well. This program has assists many of Americans with getting back on their feet.

That is a general overview of the two services. Please check out my next blog post, “Am I Eligible for SSI,” to learn about the qualifications for which the SSA looks when determining whether to approve or deny an application. The application process can be tricky if you are not prepared with the appropriate information at your fingertips.
Unfortunately, many applications are denied during their first submission leaving the issue open to appeal. If you have received a denial of SSI benefits and wish to appeal, please Contact Us as soon as possible because your time to appeal could lapse, leaving you susceptible to having to begin the application process anew.

I hope this post has assisted you with your knowledge of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. It is important that you know which benefits to which you are entitled and how you may go about obtaining them. Please do not hesitate to give me a call, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.