Through no fault of your own, you may find yourself disabled and unable to work. In this case, you will need to rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) for your survival. Yet, you may feel confused by the differences between the two and which one you qualify for. While they seem similar, they’re in fact quite different.
Who does SSI cover?
SSI benefits provide income for people whose disabilities keep them from working whatsoever. Recipients of these benefits must have limited assets and income to begin with. If you are single, your total assets cannot exceed $2,000. This amount increases to $3,000 if you’re married. The total amount of monthly benefits you will receive is less than what SSDI provides. Yet, your income limitations will make you eligible for Medicaid and, likely, food stamps.
Who does SSDI cover?
If you held a job that an injury now prevents you from performing, you will likely apply for SSDI benefits. You will also apply for SSDI if you plan on returning to work someday. To qualify for benefits, you must have enough work credits. For each year you worked, you have four corresponding credits. The number of credits required to receive benefits depends on your age. If you have a spouse or children, they may receive SSDI benefits, too, but at half the rate you do. Your spouse will only receive benefits, though, if they are over 62 or caring for children under 16. And your children’s benefits terminate when they turn 18. If you have unmarried children between 18 and 19, they can receive benefits until they graduate high school or up to two months after their 19th birthday.
By understanding the key differences between SSI and SSDI, you can figure out which one is appropriate for your situation. But you may still have questions about getting the most complete coverage possible. An attorney with disability law experience can help you receive the benefits you deserve.