You don’t have to choose between receiving SSI and SSDI benefits. More often than not, if you can qualify for both, it’s possible that you can receive both. The entire process can be a bit complicated, but our lawyers make it as easy as possible for you to understand.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), many people can get SSI and SSDI simultaneously. The SSA refers to this as a “concurrent claim.” Let’s look at what that means and how it’s possible.
Understanding SSI and SSDI Benefits
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance. This insurance provides income benefits when someone becomes disabled and cannot work. SSDI provides monthly benefits to help with living expenses. To qualify for SSDI, you must have paid enough Social Security taxes. You pay these taxes automatically from your work wages.
SSI is Supplemental Security Income. To get SSI benefits, you must be one of the following:
- Age 65 or older
- Partially or totally blind
- Unable to work because of a disabling medical condition
SSI provides benefits to people with disabilities and older adults who have meager income and resources. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), state programs often supplement SSI benefits.
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Differences Between SSI and SSDI
The SSA provides both SSI and SSDI programs. However, the main difference is:
- SSI depends on a person’s age or disability and their resources
- SSDI depends on a person’s disability and work history
When someone can receive assistance from both programs, we call it concurrent benefits. Many people wonder if they can receive both SSI and SSDI. If you have limited income, resources, and work credits, the answer might be “yes.”
SSI is also an option for those with limited income but no work history. For example, someone might become disabled but not have any Social Security work credits through a job. They would not qualify for SSDI, but they might be eligible for SSI benefits.
An older adult, age 65 or above, does not always need to have a disability to apply for SSI. They might qualify if they have low income and resources. However, you must have a total disability to be eligible for SSDI.
How to Receive Both SSI and SSDI Benefits
You will have to file a claim for both. It’s best to submit applications as soon as you become disabled. To make sure you file correctly, we recommend working with a Social Security Disability lawyer. You can apply for both SSI and SSDI:
- Online through the SSA website
- At a local Social Security office
- By calling the SSA
Those applying for a disabled child below age 18 cannot apply for SSI online. The same goes for seniors aged 65 and older. However, everyone can apply for SSDI online.
How Your Income and Assets Become Factors
SSI considers any money that you earn. That includes a pension, Social Security benefits, and valuable items someone else has given you. Your state will also affect the income threshold for SSI.
For example, you might be eligible for SSI if the things you own are worth less than $2,000 or $3,000 for a married couple. The SSA will consider your bank accounts and other money, but not your home or car.
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How Much You Can Get From SSI and SSDI
The SSA reported the basic monthly SSI payment in 2020 as:
- $783 for one person
- $1,175 for a couple
Certain states will provide more SSI payments, so you could get more. On the other hand, if you or someone in your family makes other income, your SSI could be less. The people you live with can also affect your benefits.
Your SSDI benefits will depend on your average lifetime earnings. The SSA will look at how much you have paid into the system. The severity of your disability does not determine how much you get.
The average monthly SSDI payment for 2020 was $1,259. However, this average can change from year to year. For the most accurate answers, talk to your Social Security Disability lawyer.
When SSI and SSDI Benefits Begin
SSI benefits usually start on the first entire month after you get approval. For example, if you get approved for SSI on February 1st, you’ll begin receiving benefits on March 1st. If you have a “presumptive disability,” you might get benefits sooner.
SSDI benefits take longer to receive. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The SSA will use your application date as your “onset date.” If you became disabled well before you applied, talk to an SSDI lawyer. They can help you get your onset date changed so that your benefits can begin sooner.
- SSDI has a five-month waiting period. You must be disabled for five months from your onset date to receive benefits. Your first payment will be at the start of the sixth month.
- You can get back payments minus the waiting period. You might be able to get benefits for the time you were disabled before applying. However, you will not be able to include the waiting period time.
Some people are eligible for both SSI and SSDI. When you apply for SSI, you will need to apply for SSDI and other benefits. The process can be complicated and confusing. Thankfully, an SSDI lawyer can help.
An experienced lawyer can help you with each application. They can also help you appeal a decision if you get a denial. Don’t assume you don’t qualify without speaking to a lawyer first.
Don’t Settle for Rejection From the SSA
Remember, rejection isn’t the end. Thousands of people get rejected every year for SSI and SSDI benefits. You aren’t alone in facing rejection, as the SSA doesn’t make it easy to receive any benefits, especially the first time around when you apply.
There are many reasons why you could get rejected. Regardless of the reason, know that you have many legal options available to you. Don’t give up hope just because the SSA has told you no. Instead, get in touch with one of our lawyers as soon as you can so that you can get started on your appeal.
In addition to handline appeals, we can also help you file your application properly and answer any specific questions you may have about your current situation with the SSA. We will always have your best interests at the priority and will always be there with you throughout every step in the process.
Why You Should Hire One of Our Lawyers
To get help with your applications, contact our SSDI lawyers today. There are many reasons why you can trust us to assist you in getting the benefits you deserve:
- Our Social Security Disability lawyers have over 20 years of experience
- We know Social Security front-to-back. We can help you build a strong claim
- We also will not charge you unless we win you money
Remember, hiring a lawyer can mean the difference between facing rejection after rejection or finally getting the benefits you’ve been paying into all your working life. We know that getting SSI and SSDI benefits can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have 20-plus years of experience helping SSI and SSDI clients. We do not collect a fee unless we win you money. You can get started today without worrying about costs. To get a free, no-risk consultation, call us or contact us online.