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Social Security Disability vs. Supplemental Security Income

in General

If you are thinking of applying for Social Security Disability, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI) are two of the most common programs for which to apply. The main difference between these two is that SSDI is for injured workers, while SSI is for low-income individuals who haven’t worked long enough to apply for SSDI

If you’re considering applying for one of these two programs, Ladas & Hoopes has the answers you need in order to choose the best program for your situation.

Applying for SSDI
Because workers have spent years contributing to Social Security, a qualified worker is able to draw from those funds and receive Social Security benefits. While the financial benefits of SSDI are higher than that of SSI, the applicant needs to meet more qualifications. In order to apply for SSDI, you need to be between 18-65, have a disability and have earned enough work credits to qualify.

Applying for SSI
SSI is for those with a disability who have not earned the required work credits. This means they have not been in the workforce long enough or have been unable to work for many years. Those that qualify for SSI are often supplemented by other state programs, such as food stamps or Medicaid. In order to apply for SSI, you must have under $2,000 in assets (or under $3,000 for a couple), have a disability and a limited income.

Do I Have Enough Work Credits?
To determine whether you qualify for SSDI, you need to have achieved enough work credits. Work credits are determined by how long and how recently you have worked in a field that pays taxes towards Social Security. In total, you need 40 credits to qualify, 20 of which need to be earned within the last 10 years of work.

An individual earns one credit for every $1,360 in earnings, with a maximum of four credits a year. The amount of earnings per credit goes up slightly each year. The full details can be found in this Social Security Administrations pamphlet.

So, which program is right for you? If you are still unsure or have additional questions, we are happy to help you get the legal aid you deserve. Learn more about the services we provide and our expertise or contact the Ladas & Hoopes law office at 231-744-6218 to find the support and help you need.