Disabled workers: know the difference between SSI and SSDI

by Jul 18, 2015

Home » FAQs » Disabled workers: know the difference between SSI and SSDI

Being unable to work or seriously limited in your capacity to work can be extremely frustrating and upsetting for several reasons. Physically, a disabling condition can turn your world upside down. Emotionally, being unable to work or do the things you want to do can make you feel depressed and unfulfilled. Financially, you can struggle enormously to care for yourself and your family without a steady income. 

In these situations, taking on the added task of trying to figure out your options for benefits and support can simply seem too complicated and overwhelming. While it can seem easy to just give up in these situations, it is crucial that you and your loved ones understand that you can work with an attorney who already understands the options and procedures to pursue benefits. For instance, an attorney can help you pursue benefits from the Social Security Administration if you qualify.

Generally speaking, there are two types of benefits for disabled workers: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security disability benefits. While the money available through each of these programs can help the same type of people, the two programs are still very different.

For example, SSDI recipients must have an established work history and have paid into the Social Security program in order to receive benefits. The amount of money that can be received is based on the person’s earnings record.

On the other hand, SSI recipients do not have to have paid into the system to qualify for benefits. These benefits are based primarily on the needs of the applicant. The amount of money that can be received through SSI is capped at $733 a month for an individual, but the amount can be lowered based on the applicant’s financial standing and resources.

Both programs are in place to support people who are disabled or unable to work for at least 12 months, and both programs require potential recipients to complete an application.

Whether you believe you qualify for SSDI, SSI or even both types of benefits, it can be crucial to get help when trying to navigate the frustrating and complicated Social Security system. With an attorney by your side, you can work to avoid mistakes and costly delays that could put your benefits in jeopardy.