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The Difference Between SSI and SSD

Feb. 28, 2023

When it comes to social security benefits, two common programs that people may be eligible for are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDIB). While these programs may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two that are important to understand.

Eligibility: The main difference between SSI and SSDIB is the eligibility criteria. SSI is a need-based program, which means that in order to qualify, you must have limited income and resources. SSDIB, on the other hand, is based on your work history and the number of Social Security credits you have earned. In order to be eligible for SSDIB, you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a certain amount of time before becoming disabled.

Benefits: Another difference between SSI and SSDIB is the amount of benefits you can receive. SSI benefits are based on financial need and are generally lower than SSDIB benefits. The maximum SSI benefit amount varies by state, but in 2023 it is $914 per month for individuals and $1,371 for couples. SSDIB benefits are based on your earnings history and are generally higher than SSI benefits. The average monthly benefit for SSDIB recipients in 2023 is $1,483.

Medical Criteria: While both programs require that you have a disability, the medical criteria for each program is slightly different. In order to be eligible for SSDIB, your disability must be expected to last for at least one year or be terminal. In addition, you must be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA) due to your disability. SGA refers to any work that earns you more than a certain amount per month, which is $1,470 in 2023. In contrast, there is no duration requirement for SSI, and the definition of disability is the same as it is for SSDIB.

Application Process: The application process for SSI and SSDIB is also slightly different. To apply for SSI, you can either apply online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. To apply for SSDIB, you must complete an application online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. In addition, you must provide medical evidence that supports your disability claim.

In conclusion, while SSI and SSDIB are both social security benefits programs, they have different eligibility criteria, benefit amounts, medical criteria, and application processes. It is important to understand these differences in order to determine which program you may be eligible for and to maximize your potential benefits. Please call the Grech Law Firm and we will provide you with a free consultation to determine which program you may be eligible for.