Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

How is SSI different from Social Security Disability?

Social Security disability is an insurance program that is based upon insured status. An individual pays their insurance “premiums” through payroll deductions. Earnings reported to the Internal Revenue Service are the basis of an individual’s Social Security earnings record.

Each year, an individual can add four quarters of coverage to their insured status depending on their earnings for the year.

In contrast, SSI disability does not require an insured status or that a person work. It is based upon need rather than insured status. While it does not require work or insured status, SSI does have income and resource limits an individual must meet to be eligible for the program.

Generally, Social Security disability pays a higher monthly disability benefit than SSI, because it is based upon an individual’s earnings in the years prior to their becoming disabled. SSI disability has a set maximum monthly disability benefit determined by Social Security each year. SSI disability does not pay benefits for dependents. Social Security disability beneficiaries sometimes have enough money on their record for their dependents to receive benefits as well.

Previously, I mentioned that SSI has income and resource (assets) limits that determine eligibility. SSI disability beneficiaries must have no more than $2000.00 dollars in resources if they are an individual or $3000.00 if they part of a couple. While Social Security disability beneficiaries have no resource limits. Social Security Disability does not care about an individual’s assets because their disability benefits are based upon the their earnings rather than need.

SSI disability beneficiaries are also held to income limits that involve all kinds of income. If their income exceeds their monthly income limit, they will not be entitled to receive a SSI benefit for that month.

SSI beneficiaries often end up with overpayments because they are not timely in reporting work earnings or other income. Social Security disability beneficiaries have no income limits per say; however they are affected by work activity. Social Security beneficiaries should be careful about their work earnings. Their disability benefits could be suspended or even terminated due to work activity.

Lastly, health insurance coverage is different for the two disability programs. Social Security disability beneficiaries must wait two years from the month they are entitled to receive their monthly disability check to receive Medicare coverage. By contrast, SSI disability beneficiaries receive Medicaid benefits immediately.

Some Social Security disability beneficiaries with low disability monthly benefit amounts are able to receive Medicaid and Medicare simultaneously once they are entitled to receive it. However, the vast majority of Social Security disability beneficiaries have a two year medicare waiting period before they receive the benefits of Medicare insurance.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    What is the difference between Social Security disability and SSI?
    Differnces between SSD and SSI
    The Difference Between Social Security Disability and SSI Involves Work Activity
    Similarities between Social Security Disability and SSI and differences
    The chances of winning with a Social Security disability judge
    Tips for SSD and SSI disability hearings
    Getting disability approved in Florida
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in Florida
    Qualifying for SSDI in Florida

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
    What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria