The “alphabet soup” of Social Security can be confusing. Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the two disability programs administered by the federal government.

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If you become disabled to the point that you cannot work, you will want to understand your options for obtaining income. This can happen due to a work-related injury, workplace accident or a situation not related to your job at all. You should know about two of the common options in these cases- Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Despite the similarity in their names and acronyms, these programs are different in fundamental ways.

This is a broad term that encompasses disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Disability consists of two main programs: SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income).

SSD benefits are available to individuals who have a qualifying disability, but eligibility criteria and the number of benefits can vary depending on the specific program.

SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance): SSDI is a specific program under the umbrella of SSD.

SSDI is for individuals who have worked and earned enough (by working long enough and recently enough) work credits to be eligible for benefits. Work credits are based on the individual’s work history and the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes.

To qualify for SSDI, individuals must have a qualifying disability and meet the work credit requirements.

In summary, SSD is a broader term that includes various disability benefits programs, while SSDI specifically refers to a program within SSD that provides disability benefits to individuals with a sufficient work history.

However, it is important to note that eligibility criteria, application processes, and benefit amounts may vary, so individuals seeking disability benefits should consult with the Social Security Administration or one of our attorneys to understand the specific requirements and details for their situation.

Contact Martin Law today at 215-587-8400 for a free consultation.

Depending upon your situation, you may qualify for both types of benefits. There are strict guidelines that you must qualify for to meet the definition of disabled before your request gets approved. This information is not meant to provide legal advice, but rather to provide general information about Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income in Pennsylvania.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income): SSI is another program under the umbrella of SSD, but it differs from SSDI in key aspects.

SSI is a needs-based program intended for individuals with limited income and resources, regardless of their work history. This means that individuals who may not have earned enough work credits for SSDI could still be eligible for SSI if they meet the income and resource requirements.

SSI benefits are not based on work history but are determined by financial need. Eligibility is based on income, resources, and living arrangements.

Qualifying Disabilities: Both SSDI and SSI have similar criteria for determining a qualifying disability. The SSA uses a strict definition of disability, requiring that the individual’s impairment prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and will last for at least 12 months or result in death. They must demonstrate through medical evidence, treatment, and their own statements, that they are completely incapable of performing any work in the national economy.

Application Process: The application processes for SSDI and SSI are similar, but there are differences. Both applications involve submitting detailed medical and work history information, and the SSA evaluates the information to determine eligibility.

It is common for individuals to apply for both SSDI and SSI simultaneously if they are unsure of their eligibility for one or the other.

Benefits Amount: The number of benefits for SSDI is based on the individual’s earnings history, while SSI benefits are fixed and are subject to adjustment based on income and living arrangements.

In Pennsylvania, as in other states, individuals seeking disability benefits should contact the local Social Security office or visit the SSA website to get information specific to their situation. Consulting with an attorney or other professionals specializing in Social Security disability claims may also be helpful in navigating the application process and understanding eligibility criteria.

When it comes to initial claims decisions, there are differences in what the eligibility requirements for benefits are and how the number of benefits for granted claims is determined.

The differences between these programs not only come into play when a person is applying for benefits, they can also come into play after a person secures benefits. For example, the effect that major life changes have on continued benefits eligibility can differ quite a bit between the two programs.

Take, for instance, one of the substantial changes that can happen in an individual’s personal life: getting married.

If a person who is receiving SSI benefits gets married, it could potentially negatively impact their benefits eligibility. Their spouse’s income and assets, if high enough, could potentially cause the SSI recipient to no longer pass the means-test for SSI and thus no longer be eligible for such benefits.

Meanwhile, a marriage generally will have no negative impacts on an SSDI recipient’s eligibility for continued benefits eligibility.

Understanding the differences between the SSDI and SSI programs can be especially important for disabled individuals who are planning to apply for federal disability benefits or who are already receiving federal disability benefits. Knowledgeable disability attorneys can be a reliable source for helpful explanations of such differences.

Contact Martin Law today at 215-587-8400 for a free consultation.

Determining Your Eligibility For SSD or SSI

There are no asset limits for Social Security Disability. You do not have to spend down to poverty to be eligible. You can collect SSD even if your spouse still works and you own your home.

However, SSI has strict limits on assets and income. The person must essentially qualify for welfare: no more than $2,000 in assets for an individual or $3,000 for a married couple. A car or home is not counted. However, if you own more than one car or home it will count against your claim.

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Turned Down For SSD or SSI?

The experienced disability firm of Martin Law can step in to handle the appeals process if your application for disability benefits has been denied. We have a successful record with both SSD and SSI claims.

At our law firm, we have handled thousands of claims throughout the Philadelphia metro area. Because Social Security is a federal program, we also represent claimants statewide in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and New York.

Speak With a Skilled Pennsylvania Social Security Disability Income Attorney

Contact a Pennsylvania Social Security Disability income lawyer at our firm at 215.587.8400 for a free consultation. There are no attorney fees unless we win your case.