Navigating the government’s entitlement programs can be a complex business. If you have worked for several years and sustained an injury that is debilitating, you may be eligible for SSDI or Social Security Disability Insurance.
However, there is another benefits program that assists disabled Americans. This program is SSI or Supplemental Security Income. According to the AARP, in certain situations, you may be eligible for “concurrent benefits,” which is when the government awards you both SSDI and SSI.
What is the difference between the two programs?
SSDI will give you money regardless of your current financial situation. Everything depends on your work history. The longer your work history is and the more that you contributed to Social Security during your healthy work years, typically the bigger your monthly SSDI payment will be.
SSI, on the other hand, is a needs-based program. It does not consider your employment history at all; persons who have never worked a day in their lives may be eligible for SSI. However, it is possible to have “too high” of an income for SSI.
How can I get both?
Because SSI is a needs-based program, it is somewhat rare for a person who gets SSDI to still have a low enough income for it. For instance, if you get SSDI benefits over $814 a month, you will not be eligible for SSI. If the government gives you less than this in SSDI, you are eligible for SSI but the amount will depend on how much SSDI you have. However, if you have a limited work history or a low-income one, it is possible for the government to award you both SSDI and SSI.