Michalk, Beatty & Alcozer, L.P.


The difference between SSDI and SSI

Although residents of Killeen and Fort Hood might not realize it, the Social Security Administration actually has two programs under which it awards disability benefits, each of which works slightly differently from the other.

For instance, the Social Security Disability Insurance program, or SSDI, acts as kind of an option for a Texas resident to get early access to the Social Security they've contributed to through their work, provided of course that they are disabled and otherwise eligible for benefits. How much a person can get each month in benefits will depend on how much money they've fed in to the Social Security system.

On the hand, the Supplemental Security Income program, or SSI, is a form of extra government assistance of those who are of limited means and who are disabled, legally blind, or over a certain age. Unlike SSDI, whether one is eligible for SSI has nothing to do with a person's work history. Instead, a person qualifies for these benefits if they fall below certain income and asset thresholds. How much a person can earn in SSI is subject to a monthly maximum.

Although the other eligibility requirements are different, for both SSDI and SSI, someone who has an illness or injury that makes it impossible for them to return to work still has to prove that they are legally disabled and thus entitled to SSD benefits. This may prove to be a difficult thing to prove on one's own, especially since it involves gathering medical information and organizing it in to an effective legal argument. This is why many Texans choose to apply for disability with the help of an experienced Social Security attorney.

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