Are Social Security, SSD benefits and SSI the same?
Posted By: 
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Generally, when people refer to Social Security they are speaking of retirement benefits.  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are related to an individual’s payment into the Social Security program, but permit an individual who meets the definition of disability to draw on these benefits prior to retirement age if they meet certain prerequisites.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are also a disability program, but are funded by tax revenues and not related to an individual’s work history. 


The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees each of these programs.  An individual who believes he or she meets the definition of disability can apply for SSDI or SSI, or both at their local Social Security office.  Once an application is complete the Administration will make a determination as to eligibility and inform an individual of their decision.  If an application is denied, there is an appeal process which includes a hearing before an administrative law judge.


Here is a quick breakdown of the differences between SSDI and SSI:



Social Security Benefits

Supplemental Security Income

Three types: Disability (SSDI), Widows, Adult disabled child

Two types: Disability and Aged

Funded through Social Security payroll or FICA taxes

Funded through general tax revenue

To receive benefits, you must have worked a certain number of hours, typically around 5 years, and paid into the system

Work record does not affect benefits

Assets and income do not affect benefits

When applying for benefits, your assets and income will be considered

Individuals over the age of 18, may be eligible for SSDI benefits if your illness or condition prevents you from working and is expected to last more than 12 months or end in death

You may be eligible for SSI if you are an adult and your illness or condition prevents you from working and is expected to last more than 12 months or end in death. For children similar factors are taken into consideration.

An individual’s monthly benefit is based upon contributions made while working

Benefit is capped each year by regulation. The maximum benefit in 2016 is $733.00 for an individual



The appeals process can be long and arduous.  The attorneys at Knoebel & Vice have represented thousands of individuals through each of the steps in the appeals process and before administrative law judges in hearing offices in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Indiana.  If you are not sure where to start or are struggling with the weight of the paperwork, contact Knoebel & Vice.  We will help you get the benefits you deserve.



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