Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs differ in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration. Only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
- Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
- Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.
When you apply for either program, we will collect medical and other information from you and submit it to Social Security who will then make a decision regarding whether you meet Social Security’s definition of Disability.
What exactly is the Social Security Disability Program?
Social Security disability is a program from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that helps Americans who cannot work due to medical issues. The program is designed for people who have paid Social Security taxes throughout their working years and are currently in need of financial assistance to make ends meet. To be eligible for Social Security disability, you must be unable to perform your current job or a similar job for at least a year, and you must meet the SSA’s definition of disabled.
Qualified Social Security disability applicants may also be able to receive a lump sum cash payment for the months they were unable to work prior to receiving their first Social Security disability check. Once an applicant has received at least 24 months of disability benefits, they may qualify for Medicare medical insurance. Medicare can provide further healthcare-related assistance that you may need.
What do Veterans qualify for with SSDI?
- Up to $2,600/month benefits for themselves
- Monthly benefits for any children under 18 years of age
- The option to utilize Medicare
- Cost of Living Increases
- Retroactive benefits (average of $26,000 for our clients)
How long does the process take?
Military service members can receive expedited processing of Social Security disability claims through the Wounded Warrior program. Additionally, Veterans with a VA rating of over 50%, and those who served after 2001 have a high likelihood of this occurring. Keep in mind, the Social Security Administration does not make disability determinations according to your VA compensation rating. Instead, it is used to qualify you for expedited processing. Without this consideration, the average length of processing a claim is as follows: