February 3, 2021

The difference between SSI and SSDI

The government has programs for people in Oregon who cannot work or no longer work because of a disability. Two programs include Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, which provide recipients with monthly benefits. Qualifications for each program are about the same, but they differ in a few ways.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance pays monthly benefits to people who have earned enough credits from working. To qualify, recipients age 31 and older must have earned 20 credits in five out of the last 10 years before they had the disability. An applicant also needs a qualifying disability as outlined in the Blue Book.

The SSA requires that the applicant has not been able to perform their job at full capacity for 12 months. The SSA commonly determines if applicants can perform another job and sends applicants to be examined by their doctors. Benefits may take several months to approve, but certain circumstances may speed the process, such as cancer, blindness, deafness, asthma and rare disorders.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income is reserved for workers over 65 who don’t have enough credits for SSDI or people not able to work regardless of age because of a disability. Applicants must be United States citizens with low income and resources not totaling over $2,000. The value of a primary house or land and a primary vehicle do not get included in the figuring of asset total regardless of the value. Only half of working income counts toward the cap, but some of a spouse’s income may be counted. Many recipients of SSI typically qualify for other government subsidies, such as food stamps.

SSDI and SSI provide a safety net for people who can no longer work or are not able to work. The majority of SSDI and SSI claims get denied the first time, so an attorney may be able to help them file an appeal.