What are the Differences Between Social Security Disability and Social Security Income?

Disability Attorney in Tulsa OK Explains SSDI and SSI Benefits

Many people confuse the terms Social Security disability insurance (SSDI or SSD) and Supplemental Security income (SSI). While the Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees both programs and the definition of a disability is the same for each, the terms are not one in the same.

SSI and SSDI Differences in Eligibility, Qualifications and Social Security Benefits

  • Funding — The Social Security taxes that workers, employers and self-employed individuals pay finance the SSDI program. The SSI program, on the other hand, receives funds through general tax revenues rather than Social Security trust funds.
  • Eligibility — Disabled individuals with disabilities who are above full retirement age are not eligible for SSDI benefits, but disabled individuals of any age can qualify for SSI benefits.
  • Qualifications — You qualify for SSDI benefits based on your work history, and the SSA determines the amount of the benefits by work history. You may qualify for SSI benefits if you have limited income and resources to meet the living arrangement requirements.
  • Medical benefits — An individual receiving SSDI benefits will automatically get Medicare coverage after receiving disability benefits for two years. People receiving SSI benefits will automatically be eligible for Medicaid.
  • Review of benefits — For individuals receiving SSDI benefits, the SSA will conduct a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) approximately every three years, unless it determines that you have a condition that is expected to improve sooner than that. However, if you receive SSI benefits, the SSA will review your financial records every year to make sure you still qualify. If your income exceeds the maximums, the benefits will stop. Learn more about the SSI income limits and what can make you lose your disability benefits.
  • Additional beneficiaries — Dependents of an SSDI recipient may be able to receive a payment based on the record of individuals with disabilities, including children under 18, adult disabled children or some spouses. There are no dependent payments available for SSI recipients, as payment only goes to the individual with a disability.
  • When payments start — You are not eligible to receive SSDI benefits during the first five months of your disability, but SSI benefits start on the first day of the month in which you apply.

Get Help Filing a Disability Claim or Appeal from a Disability Attorney Near Me

If you need assistance determining whether you qualify for SSD or SSI disability and what your best options for disability benefits are, contact our Social Security disability lawyers. We provide all initial disability claim reviews at no cost. If we decide to pursue your disability claim, you pay no attorney fees for our services if your case is unsuccessful.

Get in touch with our disability law firm in Tulsa today to begin working with an experienced team of disability attorneys.