SSDI or SSI? The Differences Between Both!
Often most individuals tend to find that trying to wrap their minds around the programs offered by the Social Security Administration can leave them feeling frustrated and hopeless.
That’s why we’ve decided to break down the differences between both in an effort to help remove any misconceptions or inaccuracies you may have overheard.
Both work to provide benefits and qualify medical eligibility in roughly the same way – but, there are some stark contrasts between the two, such as: who is eligible, how much they may receive, and when their benefits begin.
What is SSDI?
In short, SSDI is Title 2 of the Social Security Act, also known as the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
The purpose of the program is to provide supplemental income to those who are either physically, or mentally unable to be employed due to a disability.
Part of what separates SSDI and SSI are the qualifications needed in order to receive benefits. According to the SSA, any individual looking to apply must meet the following criteria:
- 1) Prior Phyiscal or Mental Condition Which Prevents the Individual from Taking Part in Substantial Gainful Activity.
- 2) The Condition in Question Was Found to Last For At Least 12 Months (One Year) or To Result in Death.
- 3) Individual in Question is Under the Age of 65.
- 4) Individual Applying Has Amassed Twenty (20) Social Security Credits in The Decade Prior to The Start of Their Disability.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a specific formula that calculates and ultimately determines the amount in which you or your loved one will be paid in relation to your disability benefit.
The formula in question is solely based off of the total amount of your lifetime earnings that was covered by Social Security.
From this point forward, if you’re found to be eligable to receive SSDI benefits, there is a five-month waiting period. When you’ve been approved, the first payment you receive will cover whatever month you have received it in – but, it will also cover the five months that you waited, resulting in a six-month lump-sum style payment.
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What is SSI?
As we stated earlier in this blog article, SSI is much different than SSDI.
For instance, while SSDI is paid out using contributions made by an individual to Social Security throughout their lifetime, SSI is provided to those in need using United States Treasury funds, and in some occurances, those funds can be added to by specific states.
SSI by nature is designed to help those who are elderly, disabled children, and adults who are struggling to find money to equip themselves with basic needs such as shelter, food, and anything else deemed essential. The program provides qualified applicants with monthly payments, seeing as they’re not able to work, have limitied resources, and currently have very little to no income at all.
For one to qualifiy for SSI benefits, you must meet the following criteria, which is inclusive of:
- 1) Individual Seeking Benefits Must be Blind or Partially Blind.
- 2) Must Have Prior Medical Condition That Prevents Applicant from Working for 12 Months or Can Result in Death.
- 3) Individual in Question is 65 Years Old, or Older.
Below, we’ve added some more information from a previous blog about SSDI.
Click here to read the article in full!
Five Tips for Getting Approved Quickly!
Here are five tips that we’ve put together on how you can get your SSDI benefits approved quickly!
- Make Sure to Provide Every Piece of Medical Evidence: The longer you wait to provide your medical information, or by providing them to the examiner piece-by-piece, it will work against you, and jam up your process. The best thing to do is to provide all of your documents at the same time you submit your application!
- Add All Doctors You Saw To Your Initial Application: When submitting your application, it’s best to include the contact information for all of the doctors you’ve seen. This would include their name/occupation, their address, the day of your appointment, and so on. It will help the person examining your records to be able to easily contact these doctors on your behalf.
- Have Your Primary Care Physician Write A Letter On Your Behalf: If possible, obtain a letter from any doctors you’ve seen as well, where they can speak on your behalf and further explaining exactly how debilitating your situation is.
- Keep Track of Your Claims Process: Monitor the process, stay on top of everything, and provide any additional information needed.
- Consider Hiring An Attorney To Help You! Marcari, Russotto, Spencer, and Balaban will proudly represent any individuals that need help. You can give us a call today at (855) 435-7247 and schedule a free consultation with an attorney!
When Should I Reach Out To An Attorney?
Four words – the sooner, the better. If at any point you’ve thought about or sheepishly approached filing for disability, you should reach out to an attorney for help.
An attorney will be able to help you evaluate your situation and the overall strength of your application. The truth is, you will most likely have an easier time getting approved if you have an attorney on your side!
Furthermore, if you’re looking to hire an attorney before starting the process, hiring an attorney after you’ve been denied is an even better idea.
Call Us Now and Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
If you or someone you love is in need of help regarding their SSDI benefits anywhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, or in Virginia, the attorneys here at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban may be able to help.
You can also contact us by filling out the form below. Once you’ve filled it out, and we’ve received it, we’ll make sure to reach to speak with you as soon as we possibly can. Thanks!