The Difference Between SSDI & SSI Benefits
SSDI benefits are available to anyone who qualifies, regardless of financial
need. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is need-based. That means you
must have limited income and assets to qualify. Most people who qualify
for SSI also qualify for food stamps. Both programs are run by the Social
Here’s what else you need to know about SSDI benefits:
- SSDI provides monthly cash benefits. Persons who get benefits receive an
average of $1,130 per month, with the upper limit being $2,533.
- To get SSDI benefits, you must prove that your medical condition is life
threatening, long-term (at least 12 months) or permanent. If you can't
show that, you may still be eligible for workers' compensation or
other shorter-term government relief.
- In order to qualify, you must also have worked for a certain number of
years and have paid into FICA. After receiving SSDI for two years, you
may be eligible for Medicare.
- Your spouse and children may also be eligible for partial benefits.
In some cases, you can return to work on a temporary basis without losing
monthly benefits. You may work for nine months to test your ability in
the work place, with no risk of losing benefits. The SSA refers to that
as a trial work period. Even after the nine-month period, SSDI may still
provide a safety net that allows you to work another three years. During
that time, you can get benefits as long as you do not earn more than $1,740
monthly (if you are blind) or $1,040 per month (if not blind).
What Happens If Your Original Application Was Denied?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies over 60% of all initial
applications. The SSA receives as many as two million applications per
year. There's a good chance your application will be denied, even
if you have a strong claim. Most applicants go through a series of appeals
before winning benefits. There is some good news if your claim is initially
denied. Once your claim is approved, you'll receive back pay from
the date you first filed. Retaining the services of a knowledgeable law
firm such as ours can increase the chances that your appeal will be successful.
Please contact our firm for step-by-step guidance with your SSDI matter.