RGG Law Explores Differences in SSD and SSI

AdminSocial Security Disability

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The Social Security Administration administers many benefit programs. Of course, everyone is familiar with the Social Security retirement benefit based upon our earnings record to which we become entitled at retirement age, but RGG Law wants to be sure you are aware of other Social Security programs. There is also a survivor’s benefit for the minor children of a deceased parent who has an adequate earnings record prior to death. As for Social Security disability benefits, there is actually more than one program. RGG Law goes over these below.

The two primary disability benefits are known as Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Just to avoid confusion, it should be noted that SSD is also sometimes referred to as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB). These are just different names for the same program.

There are some additional benefit programs for narrow categories of beneficiaries, including Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits (DWB), Disabled Adult Child benefits (DAC), and Child’s Insurance Benefits. RGG Law can help with these areas of benefit, but they are not discussed further below.

As for the two primary benefit programs, SSD and SSI, here are some of the primary differences:

  • SSD is provided for under Title II of the Social Security Act. SSI is covered in Title XVI of the Act. This is why the programs are also sometimes referred to as Title 2 or Title 16 benefits.
  • SSD benefits are funded and paid for out of the Social Security Trust Fund created by the revenues from the FICA payroll taxes paid by wage-earning workers. SSI is paid for out of the general revenues of the federal government.
  • SSD is an insurance program which requires a person to have an adequate earnings record to qualify for benefits and the benefit amount is related to the amount paid in during working years. SSI is a needs-based program which includes a means test. A person cannot receive SSI if their income or assets exceed certain resources guidelines.
  • The medical criteria to be found disabled is the same for both programs.
  • If a person’s SSD benefit amount is below a certain threshold known as the Federal Benefit Rate, a person may qualify to receive SSI at the same time to “supplement” their SSD benefit.
  • SSD beneficiaries are invited by Social Security to participate in Medicare after the person has been considered disabled for two years. SSI beneficiaries are eligible for Medicaid and food stamps in most states.
  • SSD back pay benefits can go back as much as 12 months prior to the protected filing date, depending upon what can be demonstrated by the medical evidence. SSI back pay benefits cannot go back further than the actual application date for the SSI claim.
  • SSD eligibility can expire about five years after a person stops working. The date on which such eligibility expires is called a “date last insured.” Many factors go into calculating a person’s date last insured. If a person cannot demonstrate with proper medical evidence that their disability began on or before a date last insured, they cannot receive SSD. SSI has no insured status requirements as it is based on financial need and is a public assistance program.

RGG Law Can Help You Gain Social Security Benefits

We, at RGG Law, are dedicated to helping you receive any benefits that can make your life easier. Contact a disability attorney at RGG Law today to get started on a path toward Social Security benefits.