Know the Difference between Social Security Disability and SSI

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If you are suffering from a disability, there are two programs that you can take advantage of and they are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These benefits are designed to help you make ends meet in the event that you are deemed unable to work because of a disability. However, you have to have been previously employed to apply, and really should utilize  a lawyer serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

SSDI

SSDI benefits come from the federal income tax that has been deducted from your paycheck throughout the years. How much each person is paid can vary. They can be paid very little or be paid over $2,000 per month. It depends on how much money has been earned and how much in social security tax has been deducted from paychecks. There are no asset or income rules. You could have a million dollars in your savings account and your spouse makes $8,000 a month and it wouldn’t matter.

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You do have to apply for these benefits and it is helpful to have a social security disability lawyer in Philadelphia helping you through the process. Many people are initially turned down but are approved after they appeal the denial. Denials usually occur because more information is needed.

SSI

SSI is a type of welfare program for disabled individuals. It is not payroll-based like SSDI. A person who has never worked a day in their life can receive this benefit if they have a disability that prevents them from going to work. Because this is a welfare program, it does matter how much money a person makes. A person can also have very few assets. For instance, a couple can’t have more than $3,000 in assets, which is $2,000 for an individual. If earned or unearned income is too high, then an SSI application isn’t going to be approved. It doesn’t matter that a disability exists if income and assets exceed the threshold.

Level of Disability

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If applying for both SSDI and SSI or just one, they both require the same level of disability for a person to be approved for benefits. When applying for SSI, you have to prove that you are disabled and that you don’t have much income or many assets. You can apply for both programs at the same time. An SSI application is also an application for disability, but an SSDI application is not also an application for SSI.

Something that is common between the two benefit types is that the handling of the case can be sped up. This is something to talk to your long-term disability lawyer in Philadelphia about, especially if you are in an emergency situation that requires you to have relief as soon as possible. The situations in which the Social Security Administration will recognize such action are when an illness is terminal, the claimant is a soldier who has been seriously wounded, or there is a dire need like lack of food or housing.

Attorneys are experienced in identifying critical disability case and can assist in having the case designated for expedited handling. Even if you think you may not be able to have your case handled faster, it is always good to ask because you may be surprised. All you need is an advocate working for you.