How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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 is different from SSD in that it 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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.