What’s the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

If you’re applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you’ll be applying for one of two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what’s the difference between the two, and how do you know which one you’re applying for?

SSDI and SSI are similar in some respects. You apply for both through the SSA, and both are processed by the SSA. Both also require a determination that you suffer from a physical or psychological impairment that prevents you from working.

However, they differ in a few key respects. For example, to qualify for SSDI, you must have worked a certain amount of time and earned a certain number of Social Security “credits” by engaging in paid work and paying into the Social Security fund. Exactly how many credits you need, and how long you will need to have worked for, depends on your age at the time you apply for disability benefits.

If you do not qualify for SSDI, either because you haven’t been employed for long enough, or because you didn’t earn enough credits, you can then figure out if you qualify for SSI. Qualifying for SSI benefits has more to do with your income, requiring you to make less than a certain threshold per year. Due to how these programs work, it is unlikely you will not qualify for either of these programs.

If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.

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