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SSDI & SSI: What’s the Difference?

ssdi and ssi

Social Security offers two programs to help individuals with disabilities and financial difficulties: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In this article, we’ll discuss three key differences between the two programs.

Firstly, SSDI is an entitlement program. This means that individuals pay into the Social Security system through every paycheck, and the monies taken out are like an insurance policy. As long as someone is working and the money is coming out of their check, they’re insured. However, if they stop working, their insurance will lapse.

On the other hand, SSI is a needs-based program that is designed to provide assistance to those who cannot provide for their basic needs.

The second difference between SSDI and SSI is how the benefits are calculated. SSDI is based on the amount an individual has paid into the Social Security system over their work life. This means that the amount someone receives is directly related to how much they have paid in.

On the other hand, SSI is a set amount that someone receives on a monthly basis. In 2021, this amount is $794 for individuals living in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. However, in some states, there may be additional amounts available.

Lastly, there is a significant difference between the two programs when it comes to income and resource limits.

For SSDI, there is no income or resource limit. This means that any resources an individual has, such as bank accounts, stocks, their home, or car, don’t count towards their eligibility. However, for SSI, there is a resource and income limit of $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples. Any resources or income over those amounts may affect someone’s eligibility for SSI.

It’s essential to note that there are also differences in the insurance provided by each program. For those who are approved for SSDI, they receive Medicare, but this won’t begin until 24 months after they’ve been on disability. On the other hand, those who qualify for SSI receive Medicaid, which is a state grant program that begins at the time of someone’s eligibility for SSI.

If you’re unsure about which program you qualify for or need help understanding your benefits, the Pickford Law Firm can help.

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Author Bio

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford

Shalondra Grandberry Pickford is a highly skilled attorney and the founder of Pickford Law. Her legal practice is committed to representing clients on various legal matters, including social security disability, veterans’ disability, estate planning, and personal injury. With over ten years of experience in law and a license to practice in Tennessee and Arkansas, Shalondra is committed to providing personalized and effective legal representation to each client.

Shalondra received her Juris Doctorate from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is a member of the Tennessee and Arkansas State Bar Associations. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the exclusive Rising Stars award from Super Lawyers in 2017 and again in 2022.

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