There is often a great deal of confusion as to the differences between SSDI and SSI—and for good reason. The programs are closely related, and their names are easily confused. However, the programs have very different eligibility requirements and understanding the differences between the two programs is key to ensuring that claimants get all the disability benefits to which they are entitled.
The SSDI program is funded by the federal payroll tax, a tax that all non-exempt workers pay through their employer. Therefore, eligibility for SSDI benefits is based on the claimant’s work history, and in order to be eligible to receive benefits, a claimant must have paid into the program for a predetermined number of years, depending on how old they are when they become disabled. For example, someone who becomes disabled at age 52 would need to have worked and paid taxes for at least 8 years. If you have a work history, but are no longer able to work, you may be eligible to receive SSDI benefits. Contact a Social Security Disability lawyer to find out.
Supplemental Security Income is also a federal government program administered by the Social Security Administration, but unlike SSDI, SSI is funded through general tax revenues, not the payroll tax. And more importantly, unlike SSDI eligibility which is based on work history, SSI is strictly need-based. In order to qualify for SSI, someone applying for disability must show that their total assets are less than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, and that their monthly income falls below a strict limit. In addition, while SSDI is only available to disabled applicants who can no longer work, SSI is available to claimants who are disabled, or who are over the age of 65 and meet the need-based criteria. If you believe you might be able to qualify for SSI, contact the SSI attorneys in Phoenix at our offices to help get you the assistance you need.
If you have been denied benefits or would like more information on the difference between SSDI and SSI, and how each program can help you, contact the Arizona Supplemental Security Income Lawyers at the Law Office of Paul J. Dombeck to help you make sense of the programs.
Call our office at 602-648-2035 for your free initial consultation today.