Both Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are programs operated by the Social Security Administration that can provide benefits for the disabled.  Social Security Disability Insurance is based upon the disabled party’s work history and accumulating enough work credits.  Work credits are earned by working and making contributions into the Social Security trust fund in the form of FICA Social Security taxes.  The amount of work credits earned is determined yearly and based upon earning a minimal amount.  The maximum of 4 credits may be earned in a year.  As of 2019, one work credit is accumulated by earning $1,360.  Earning $5,440 will earn all four credits for the year regardless of which quarters the individual worked.  SSDI benefits are not paid for the first five months after an individual becomes disabled.  The amount of monthly SSDI benefits depends on your earning record and what you have paid into the Social Security trust fund.  An individual receiving SSDI will become eligible for Medicare after two years.

Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program available to those who have not worked or who have worked but not earned enough work credits to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance.  SSI has income and asset limits.  The income limit for SSI is $771 per month for individuals and $1,157 for couples.  However, it is important to note that the SSA only counts some income to determine if an individual is over the limit.  Assets for an individual cannot be more than $2,000 and for a couple cannot be more than $3,000. SSI benefits are payable the first month the application is submitted.  Those eligible for SSI are also eligible for Medicaid and will also qualify for food stamps.  The amount of monthly SSI benefits depends on where one lives and the amount of monthly income they receive.

If you have questions regarding eligibility, applying or benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income,  please do not hesitate to contact Smith & Jones Law, LLC.