Disability Benefits – Comparing SSI and SSDI

People often confuse the two main Social Security programs that provide benefits to disabled Americans – Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”). The requirements for each program are different, and, in some instances, workers may be able to receive benefits under both SSDI and SSI.

Your total assets and whether you are currently working are important factors that play a role in determining whether you will be able to apply for SSDI and SSI benefits. The disability determination is the same for both SSI and SSDI benefits, which is why many applicants apply for both at the same time.

For SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) looks at the amount you are working and earning (“substantial gainful activity” is the phrase the SSA uses). You earn more SSDI benefits the more you have worked in the past. Without much work history, you may not be able to receive SSDI benefits at all. Additionally, if you are currently working and making more than $1,000 a month, you will likely not be able to apply for SSDI benefits.

While SSDI focuses on current work status, SSI is for lower income Americans and takes into account a larger number of things you own, including cash, stocks, real estate and bank accounts. You need to fall below certain levels in order to be able to receive SSI benefits, so you may wish to consult a Tulsa SSI lawyer if you are considering applying for disability benefits.

For 2011, the SSI benefit maximum is $674 a month. Oklahoma is one of the states that may add to this benefit amount. Depending on how much you have worked in the past, your SSDI benefits may exceed the amount of SSI amounts. You may be eligible for both, though, and an expert in disability benefits can provide more information on your eligibility.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

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