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Differences between SSI and SSDI

Published on June 2nd, 2014

There is often confusion between the differences in Social Security disability insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income. While both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is need based and is for individuals with limited financial resources.

SSI is available for individuals 65 or older and can be used to assist disabled children or adults of any age. However, SSI does not generate benefits necessarily to other members in the family.

The maximum amounts received will be essentially the same for individuals in Illinois as in any other part of the country. The amount actually provided can vary according to living arrangements, personal income or other factors. It’s important to remember that not all income accessed by an individual will necessarily limit how much in SSI an individual is allowed to receive.

However, states can supplement the federal amounts that are received. There are states that choose not to make any additional payments. Also, the amount the state provides can vary based upon individual state rules.

SSI is similar to SSDI in that the statutory definition of disability needs to be met by applicants. The applicant will need to demonstrate that he or she is unable to perform substantial gainful activity for a period that has actually lasted or is expected to last for 12 months. Without counting one car or the house the disabled individual resides in, this can mean that an individual has less than $2,000 in assets.

Attorneys can prove to be helpful in explaining the details of SSI and the supplements that the state where one resides may provide. Understanding all of the intricacies can be difficult.

Source: Farm Forum, “Suplemental Security Income explained,” Howard I. Kossover, May 23, 2014

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