In Social Security Disability what is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

The difference between SSI and SSDI is a point of confusion for many of our social security disability clients. The main difference between SSI and SSDI is how you qualify for each. At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton we have attorneys that can lead you through the qualifying process.

SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, is a type of disability benefit paid to qualifying individuals whose household income falls below a certain level. In other words, SSI is a “needs” based disability. If your household income exceeds a certain amount, you are deemed to not be in “need” and do not qualify for SSI. This income limit is based on the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) and changes annually with the cost-of-living-adjustment. For 2016, the FBR is $733 per month for individuals and $1,100 for couples; however, your countable income may be different than your actual income, so give Rainwater, Holt and Sexton a call and we will advise you on whether or not you exceed this income limit.

SSDI, Social Security Disability Insurance, is a type of disability available to those who have worked (and paid FICA taxes) for a required minimum number of years. As you work, you are paying taxes which “insure” you under SSDI in the event you become disabled. If you stop working, you stop paying those taxes, and your “insured period” will eventually end. The date it ends is what the Social Security Administration terms your “date last insured” or “DLI” and you must prove you became disabled before this date in order to have access to SSDI benefits. Many people stop working because of a disability, but hold off on filing for SSDI for various reasons. This is quite dangerous because your DLI could be quickly approaching and you not know until it is too late. Even if you have been told by SSA that your DLI is in the in the past, please call Rainwater, Holt & Sexton and let us see if we can still help you.

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