Clarifying SSD and SSI Eligibility Requirements for Disabled Floridians
Dealing with a disability each day is stressful by itself. Adding the process of determining whether you’re eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which many people with disabilities rely on to make ends meet, can be frustrating and overwhelming. While similar because they both provide benefits to disabled Americans, SSD and SSI have very different eligibility requirements. At The Golden Law Group, our Brandon Social Security attorneys provide direction and clarity to help you understand and obtain the benefits you’re entitled to receive. Through our careful, honest assessment of your claim, we aim to set you down the right path.
What is the difference between SSD and SSI?
Although both are managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA), there are important difference in eligibility requirements between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. While some people are eligible for either SSD or SSI, many may be entitled to receive benefits from both programs simultaneously. Broadly, eligibility is determined as follows:
- Social Security Disability (SSD) – Qualification and the amount of benefits are based on your work history. Those who have not met a certain amount of work credits are not eligible.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Qualification is based on your income level, and benefits are reserved for those who meet a certain threshold of need. If you meet the need requirements, you are eligible even if you do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSD.
Thus, if your income falls below a certain level and you also have the minimum number of work credits, it is possible that you qualify to receive benefits under both SSD and SSI. There are strict regulations governing eligibility for both SSD and SSI. For example, when evaluating your SSI claim, the SSA will consider any and all income you receive and you must also report any changes in income over time to determine if you still qualify for SSI. With SSI, you also qualify for Medicaid and likely other assistance programs. With SSD, your claim will also be periodically reviewed, but there is additionally an automatic 5-month waiting period before you receive any benefits.
Both programs have distinct, complex eligibility requirements that affect your access to other essential benefit and entitlement programs. That is why it is essential to work with our knowledgeable, local Brandon disability attorneys. Our detail-oriented approach and free initial consultation help you secure the benefits you need and deserve.
Are the benefits calculations for SSD and SSI the same?
No, SSD and SSI have very different calculations for deciding benefit awards. SSD benefits are determined using a very complex formula that is based on your average lifetime earnings. Your other income, where you live, and whom you live with, will usually not affect your benefits. If you pass away, certain family members may still be eligible to collect your benefits on your behalf.
Unlike SSD benefits, which are governed solely by Federal law, SSI benefit calculations do vary by State. Your award in Texas might be very different than in New York, for example. SSI benefits are also impacted by who lives with you, and your family members are not eligible to receive your benefits if you pass.
As with eligibility requirements, it can be difficult on your own to understand what benefits you’re entitled to receive and to make sure the SSA has correctly calculated your award. Our experienced disability attorneys can make the process more manageable. Our diligent, dedicated advocacy offers you peace of mind knowing we will pursue every option to see your claim through.
If you need support understanding SSD and SSI, contact our Brandon disability attorneys for help
Don’t let the convoluted regulations governing SSD and SSI overwhelm you. At The Golden Law Group, our Brandon Social Security lawyers offer individualized, compassionate attention to every client. Our skilled attorneys have what it takes to go up against the SSA. Call our Brandon office 813- 375-0098 or our Bradenton office at (941) 782-1209 or contact us online today to schedule your free initial consultation.