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SSI - Impact of SSDI on SSI?

Why do I just get SSI?

SSI disability applicants have a lot of questions about the types of benefits they are getting and whether or not they can get more money. If you are receiving SSI benefits you may be trying to live on approximately $698 per month, maybe a bit more if you live in a state that offers a state supplemental payment, but chances are you are struggling to survive. For instance, rent alone is likely to eat up a big chunk of your disability check. Maybe you have been wondering if you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in addition to your SSI disability benefits?

What is SSDI and why don’t I have it?

The Social Security Disability Insurance program or SSDI if offered by the Federal Government  to workers who have a severe mental or physical health condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months and is so severe the worker is unable to perform "substantial gainful activity." SSDI disability benefits may also be paid to the widow, widowers and children of insured and disabled workers.

SSDI, however, is only paid to a disabled worker if they have worked and paid enough into to the SSA system that they are considered insured.

Applied for disability but I was given SSI

If you applied for disability benefits the SSA has determined you were disabled, but they also determined you did not have enough work credits for SSDI benefits. Many claimants do not understand that the determination of whether or not you are disabled is the same for SSDI and SSI. The only difference is whether you have sufficient work credits for SSDI.

With this in mind, if you are disabled, according to the SSA, but you do not have sufficient work credits you will be given SSI, not SSDI. Also consider there is no “borrowing” from your spouse. Work credits must be generated by you by paying employment taxes. If you have not worked, if you worked but did not pay taxes or if you worked but then stopped for too long prior to your disability date you will not be insured, and the only way to earn more work credits is to return to work.

The bad news for disability applicants is that the payment for SSI is generally less than the average payment for SSDI, and SSI applicants will receive Medicaid, not Medicare.

So, to answer the question, if you were given Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the question is moot because you will not be given SSDI and therefore SSDI will have no impact on your SSI benefit at all.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer to win disability benefits

Disability applicants are surprised to hear that most SSDI and SSI applicants are denied benefits. Millions of applicants apply each year and up to 75% are denied at the application level. If you have questions about SSDI or SSI and you are too sick to fight the system on your own, a disability lawyer may be able to help. If you have stopped working, don’t wait too long to apply or you may lose your eligibility for SSDI benefits.