Social Security Administration (SSA) offers the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to workers who have medical disabilities. While they are both offered by the Federal government, and are based on an individual’s disability, these two programs differ.
SSDI is an insurance program that pays benefits to disabled or blind individuals over the age of 18 who have paid enough Social Security taxes or have worked long enough to earn SSDI credits. This is therefore funded by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Social Security taxes. The monthly benefit that one receives is based on earnings record of the worker. The amount of wages you need to earn credits changes from year to year.
For example, in 2012, you would earn one credit for each $1,130 of wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $4,520, you’ve earned your four credits for the year. The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when you become disabled. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year you become disabled. If the individual qualifies under this program, the spouse and the children of the individual would also be eligible to receive partial dependent benefits. In addition, the worker will also get Medicare coverage after receiving SSDI benefits for 2 years.
On the other hand, SSI is available to a disabled or blind US Citizen, who can be either an adult or a child with limited income and limited resources. It is a need-based program that is funded by general fund taxes. It has nothing to do with a person’s contribution to the social security insurance system, because it is strictly based on financial need. The monthly benefit that an individual receives may vary. In some states, federal SSI payments may also be supported by some funds from the state. The benefits are subject to the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), sometimes called the Federal Payment Standard or the SSI Standard Benefit Amount, which is the maximum dollar amount that you can receive in Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefits on a monthly basis. Like SSDI, beneficiaries of SSI are also eligible for Medicaid.
Before you make a claim with the SSA, you need to consult with a competent Social Security Disability lawyer in order to know the steps that should be taken and the documents that will be needed. A competent Social Security attorney will have the resources and the plan to execute to make your claims process easier and more convenient for you.
If you or someone you know may qualify for SSI, you should talk to a competent social security lawyer. The RI Social Security Attorneys at the law offices of d’ Oliveira & Associates have a proven track record when it comes to social security claims. Contact the law offices of d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.