Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program of the U.S. Government, and it continues to aid millions of Americans each month through pension, disability claims, or financial assistance from their various programs.
Social Security aims to provide economic and financial security to millions of Americans. Unlike other pre-funded programs, it is designed for a pay-as-you-go system. This means that while workers pay for social security taxes, funds are simultaneously being paid out to beneficiaries monthly.
In this article, we’ll be sharing with you all the basic things you need to know about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Social Security Disability 101
1 out of 4 American adults have some type of disability, and the number surprisingly increases over time. To prepare or help you, we’ve collated and summarized everything you need to know about Social Security Disability (SSD).
What Are SSD and SSA?
Social Security Disability (SSD) is one of the programs of Social Security (SS) that aims to assist disabled workers who can’t continue to earn an income due to the said disability.
Social Security Administration (SSA) is the government agency that administers all processes and requests relating to any of the SS Programs – from the tax contributions to application processes to benefits disbursement.
What’s The Difference Between SSDI and SSI?
SSA has divided SSD into two different programs: the SSDI and the SSI.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an earned benefit. Benefits vary on several factors such as the age of the person when the disability case is incurred and filed.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not tied to a beneficiary’s social security tax contributions or work history. However, the income from other sources must not exceed the set caps.
What Are The Benefits of SSDI and SSI?
Social Security Disability benefits vary based on several factors.
For SSI disability, an individual can receive up to $783 monthly benefit, while a family or a couple can receive up to $1,175. Aside from citizens with disabling conditions, persons with low income and limited resources, as well as seniors over 65 years old, can be qualified for SSI.
For SSDI, the amount that qualified beneficiaries receive depends on their social security contributions throughout their work history. While it adopts a similar calculation to SS retirement benefits, it could get a little complicated due to a lot of factors. To know for sure your disability benefits, log in to, or create your Social Security account.
What Are The Qualifications for SSDI and SSI?
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must:
- Have earned a sufficient number of work credits.
- Not be engaged in substantial gainful activity.
- Meet SSA’s definition of “disability”.
- Be unable to do any job you’re qualified for.
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must:
- Be aged (65 or older), blind, or disabled.
- Have limited income.
- Have few assets.
How Long Does It Take To Get Social Security Disability Benefits?
As per SSA, it typically takes within 3 to 5 months to receive a decision on whether or not individuals qualify for social security benefits. As per applicants, they wait around 6 months to 2 years to receive their benefits. 60% of disability applications are denied the first time, but appealing the decision is possible if the request is submitted within 60 days from the denial letter.
SSA identified 2 cases wherein the appeal process could be pushed through faster. If you or your disability representative can submit medical evidence showing that you fall under Terminal or Compassionate Allowance List (CAL) categories, you’re eligible for expedited claims which only takes about 30 days.
You may submit a request, together with necessary requirements such as medical records, to your local SS office or through their website. For any inquiries or concerns, you may also reach the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.