How do SSI and SSDI benefits differ?

As a Kentucky resident with a serious, long-term disability, you may be working through your options and attempting to figure out whether you may be able to get financial assistance through the U.S. Social Security Administration. Both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income help Americans with disabilities get by financially without working, but there are some key distinctions that exist between the two types of assistance programs.

According to the National Council on Aging, you may be able to qualify for SSDI if you meet two specific eligibility criteria. First, the U.S. Social Security Administration must determine that your disability is severe enough to meet its strict definition of the term. Second, you need to have a substantial enough work history within a position covered by Social Security in order to potentially be eligible for benefits.

SSI benefits, meanwhile, are a bit different. While your disability will still need to meet the administration’s definition of the word, whether you will ultimately be able to secure SSI benefits depends on your income level. This type of benefits assistance is available exclusively to low-income individuals, so how much time you put in at a Social Security-covered job is essentially a moot point if you are looking to qualify for it.

Regardless of the type of benefit assistance for which you apply, you should know that many applicants initially receive denials when doing so. However, many people also find that they are able to qualify for assistance after all once they file an appeal.

This copy about the different types of benefits that may be available to disabled individuals is educational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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