What is SSI or Supplemental Security Income ?

How Does SSI Differs from SSDI?

Updated 05/11/2020

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and paid to individuals with disabilities that are 65 years of age or older. If an individual meets the requirements for assistance with limited income for a disability such as blindness, then the SSA will provide monthly benefits to support them financially. Children who have limitations may also be eligible for SSI benefits, depending on their circumstances.  

SSI is designed to help individuals meet basic needs for essentials. These needs can include food, clothing, and shelter. Individuals must also be below a certain income to receive benefits. There are also medical definitions for conditions such as blindness and disability that individuals must qualify to receive benefits. For instance:

  • Disability means that you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity for a medical reason¹
  • The condition must have lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of 12 months or more²

If an individual meets these conditions, then they can apply for SSI as they are considered to be disabled. Medical conditions such as blindness also have medical definitions and criteria that must be met to be eligible for SSI.

Additionally, the resources available to the individual must be below a specific limit. Savings must be below $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for an individual with their spouse, regardless if the spouse is eligible for SSI or not. There is a limit of $4,000 for a child applicant with a single parent living in the household and $5,000 for a child applicant with two parents in the home.

More definitions and limits are dependent on the individual’s circumstances, so it’s essential to check with your social security lawyer to determine if you’re eligible for SSI based on your savings and resources.

Difference between SSI and SSDI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can often be confused with SSI because the applications are the same. However, they differ in many ways. SSI benefits are not based on your or a family member’s previous work, meaning you don’t need to have a history of working or paying social security taxes to be eligible.

SSI beneficiaries are also eligible for medical assistance to pay for hospital stays and prescription drugs. Many states provide supplemental payments to SSI beneficiaries, as well as food assistance.

While they both pay monthly benefits, SSI benefits are paid on the first of every month, which could change how an individual budgets their expenses. The individual must reside in the United States and be present for a full calendar month to qualify for SSI. 

Don’t Delay – Call Pat Jacobs Today! 

A social security disability lawyer can help you determine whether SSI or SSDI is needed. Do not wait to contact a lawyer until after you apply or are appealing a decision. Instead, contact Pat Jacobs right away. Pat will help you navigate the system from the start.

Call Jacobs Law Office to set up a free consultation today.

SSI Blog 1