Back to the Basics: SSI v. SSDI
Discussion about various government agencies and programs can easily get confusing. Things are made worse when acronyms are thrown in and shortened nicknames are tossed about to describes these operations. For those just trying to learn for the first time, it can be daunting. The problem is no different when to social security issues. Most notably, many may not understand the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. A recent OV article recently tackled the topic, and it is worth checking out. SSI v. SSDI SSI and SSDI are common acronyms thrown around during discussions about benefits for those with various needs. What do they refer to and how are they different? Those seeking more specific answers should speak with a social security lawyer to learn more, but some of the basics are outlined below… The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is for those who have sufficient “work credits” and a subsequent disability which limits their ability to work and earn a sufficient income. In most cases, the qualifying work credits which are needed amount to around five years working out of the last ten. Subsequent payments out are then based, in part, on one's previous earnings. Conversely, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program for those who do not have sufficient “credits,” including those who have never worked at all. Qualification for SSI is based, in part, on limited income and assets–often next to nothing. Qualifying Actually receiving either SSI or SSDI benefits can be a time-consuming, stressful process. Both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration. One of the most important things to remember, regardless of what program you think you may qualify for, is that it often takes perseverance to get through the process. That is because up to 60% of all applications are denied the first time around. Fortunately, you can appeal your denial, and with proper support, there may be a good chance that the denial will be reversed. In many cases, reversing s denial requires a better showing of proof of meeting qualifications. A professional working on these matters can explain how proper documentation may make all the difference. Ensure that you obtain copies of all medical records, lists of medications, tax returns, pay stubs, and similar information. Legal Help It is important to remember that the comments above represent just a bare bones outline of some basic issues with these programs. The rules surrounding surrounding these social security programs remains quite complex and fact-specific. For that reason it is incumbent to speak with a social security lawyer to understand how these issues apply in your case and whether or not you may receive necessary support. The attorney may then be able to work with you on your actual applications and hearing process to ensure you have the best chance at receiving the aid necessary to get your life back in order.