SSDI and SSI are two of the disability benefits programs offered by the Social Security Administration. Whether you apply for SSDI, SSI or both at the same time, you have to prove that you are disabled.
Social Security will consider you disabled if you cannot reliably perform a simple, entry-level type of job because of a serious medical condition that has lasted or is expected to last a year or longer.
You will be eligible for SSDI if you have worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system. More specifically, you will need to show earnings within the last 10 years. As a general rule, if you have worked for at least 5 out of the past 10 years, you will be covered for SSDI. Your SSDI monthly benefit will depend on what you have paid in but most claimants see monthly checks in the $1,500 to $2,000 range.
If you do not have enough credits for SSDI – either because you have never worked or because you did work, but not recently – you can apply for SSI. SSI, also called supplemental security income, is a welfare program that pays benefits to low income claimants. Your SSI payment amount will be in the $730 per month range. Your SSI payment may be reduced if have household income such as salary earned by a spouse.
You can apply for both SSDI and SSI when you apply, but you can only get the higher of the two available benefits. Usually this is the SSDI payment.
One final benefit – if you are found eligible for SSDI, you will also get a Medicare card, and if you are found eligible for SSI, you will get a Medicaid card.
Not surprisingly there are a lot more details that can impact your eligibility for SSDI and SSI so if you have any questions, we’d be happy to help. Please feel free to email me using the form on this page, or call my office at 770-393-4985.