What is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

Are you a New Hampshire resident who is looking into applying for Social Security benefits? If so, understanding the difference between SSDI and SSI is important. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two different types of benefits programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). As the abbreviations for SSDI and SSI are nearly identical, it is easy to confuse the two different types of benefits. Disabled individuals in New Hampshire may be eligible for one of the two benefits programs.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI is intended to help working-age adults (18-65) who cannot work due to a qualifying medical condition that is expected to last for at least one year. Those accepted into the program will begin to receive benefits every month and may qualify for those benefits to continue on a permanent or long-term basis. The benefit amount will be calculated from past income levels.

In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, the applicant must have accumulated enough work credits through Social Security. There are no income-based restrictions for SSDI–a claimant with any amount of assets or income can apply should they become disabled–though there is a five-month waiting period to apply after stopping work due to a disabling condition.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available to older adults (65 and older) and disabled children whose means are below the federal benefit rate (FBR). SSI is a needs-based program that does not take into account an applicant’s job history or how much he or she has paid into Social Security.

In order to qualify for SSI, you must prove that your income is below the a certain amount. The SSA considers all of the following income:

  • Earned income from a job
  • Unearned income such as child support payments
  • In-kind income such as free food or rent from a source other than the government
  • Deemed income earned from a spouse or other household member

For more information on both of these programs, read our blog entitled “Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?” here.

Our Manchester SSDI Lawyers can Help

If you are interested in applying for SSDI benefits, the attorneys at Ward Law Group can help. Our team of disability attorneys understand all of the requirements for applying for SSDI benefits. We use our experience to prepare thorough applications and work with doctors who can support your disability claim. Contact our SSDI benefit law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Social Security Attorneys

John L. Ward

John L. Ward


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