I am often asked about what the difference is between Social Security Disability (SSD) and and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I wanted to therefore answer this common question as a part of my blog! Both of these programs are managed by the Social Security Administration, however they are different in several ways:
These are disability benefits available to those who have accumulated enough credits through working. Candidates must be over the age of 18, under the age of 65, and have earned a specified number of work credits. The program exists to assist those who are too young to draw from their retirement benefits. After receiving SSDI for a 2 year period a disabled person will become Medicaid eligible. A disabled persons spouse and children are eligible for partial benefits also. There es a 5 month waiting period for benefits, so you will not be paid for the first 5 months of being disabled sadly. The monthly benefit amount is calculated based on a persons work earnings similar to social security retirement.
This is a need based program based on an individuals income and assets. SSI is disability benefits for those with low income who have not earned enough work credits to qualify for SSD or have never been employed. Individuals must have a very low, limited income and less than $2000.00 in assets or $3000.00 per couple. Those who are eligible for SSI under their income requirements will also qualify for Medicaid in their home state.
An individual cannot receive Social Security retirement benefits and disability benefits at the same time. If you receive SSDI benefits these will automatically convert to retirement benefits when you reach retirement age. No action is needed on the part of the individual as this will be handled by social security.