What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

by | Aug 4, 2015 | Lawyer

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If you have a disability and are wondering which Social Security Benefits program you may qualify for, you must first understand the difference between SSI and SSDI. The Social Security Administration has put both of these programs in place to offer disability benefits to a greater population. A New Jersey disability law firm can go over the details of your case with you and assist you in applying for the right program, while the following post will give you a brief overview of SSI and SSDI.

As aforementioned, the Social Security Administration pays disability benefits through two programs. These programs are the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

SSI differs most prominently from SSDI in that it is funded by the U.S. Treasury – not Social Security taxes. This is a needs-based program. The Social Security Administration website states that the SSI program “pays benefits to disabled and blind adults and children who have limited income and resources.” This program also provides funds to adults over 65 who may not have a disability but meet the financial need.

To qualify for this needs-based program, one must have a very limited income with less than $2000 in assets. This being said, most people who qualify for SSI also qualify for other government-funded programs such as Medicaid and food stamps. Those who qualify for SSI are also entitled to receiving payments as soon as the application is submitted and processed (same month).

This program, funded by Social Security taxes, provides funds to disabled individuals who have worked years prior to their diagnosis and subsequently paid Social Security taxes. Recipients of SSDI are under 65 years old and have generated a sufficient number of “work credits.” These work credits come from the aforementioned years of work and payment of Social Security taxes.

The application process for the SSDI program is a bit more extensive than that of the SSI program. This application process usually takes around five months, so it may be best to contact a New Jersey disability law firm for assistance with your initial application submission. The length of the application process is due to the extensive criteria for qualification. To view further explanations and criteria, click here.

Wrap Up
Disabilities can cause a financial strain on you and your family. If you qualify for one of these programs, do not be afraid to apply. Programs like these are set up to provide financial support to those who need it. If, after reading this article, you are still unsure about what SSI and SSDI are and how you qualify, contact a New Jersey disability law firm near you. An attorney can take you through the process and assist you with your application.

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