Intersection of SSDI and SSI Can Affect Other Government Assistance

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If you are unable to work due to a disability, you may be entitled to benefits distributed by the Social Security Administration. For those who have worked long enough and paid into the system enough, these benefits typically take the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). For those who need financial assistance due to a disability but have not paid into the system or are otherwise ineligible for SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be an option. SSI may provide benefits for children or for others who have not been able to pay Social Security taxes but require funds to help meet their expenses.There is some degree of interplay between SSDI and SSI. An individual may be receiving SSI, for example, and then become eligible for SSDI. Because there are a number of potential consequences to eligibility for other types of benefits when the lines between SSI and SSDI become blurred, knowing a little more about the issue can help you if you encounter this situation.

Becoming eligible for SSDI payments means giving up SSI benefits

A child who suffers from Down syndrome, autism or some other disabling condition may be eligible for SSI benefits even when he or she has a parent who is working. However, it is a relatively common scenario for the parent of a disabled child to become disabled him- or herself. When this happens, it can mean a change in benefit eligibility.

When the parent begins receiving SSDI benefits, his or her child may become eligible for SSDI payments based on the amount the parent is receiving; this can even be the case if the child receiving SSI benefits is grown and is living on his or her own. Often, these payments will be for more than the child was receiving under the SSI program. Even so, switching from SSI benefits to SSDI benefits can affect eligibility for other types of government assistance, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Section 8 housing vouchers.

If someone is eligible for SSDI benefits (or some other type of disability benefits, such as private disability insurance), that person is required to apply for these benefits before turning to SSI. Since SSI is not considered an earned benefit, SSI recipients must exhaust other avenues for support before they will be allowed to tap into SSI support. This is true even when an SSI recipient who newly became eligible for SSDI payments will lose other types of benefits by making the change.

A Social Security Disability lawyer can ensure you get the best deal

Situations involving both SSI and SSDI can become extremely complex. Receiving one type of benefits could mean you lose others. If you are facing a complicated problem involving disability benefits, get in touch with a Social Security Disability attorney today. Your lawyer can help you decide which type of benefits you are required to apply for first, and which combination of benefits will be most advantageous to you financially. Furthermore, your Social Security Disability attorney will ensure that you receive the maximum payments to which you are entitled. Contact a lawyer with your questions about SSI or SSDI.