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How SSDI and SSI are different

People who need assistance because of an inability to work caused by a disability should understand how SSDI and SSI differ.

Arkansas people who are not able to work because of a blindness or disability may want to learn about how they can receive income to allow them to live. The Social Security Administration runs two different programs designed specifically to help people facing these types of situations. One of these programs is the Social Security Disability Income program and the other is called the Supplemental Security Income program.

While the acronyms for each program are very similar, they operate very differently. Some people may actually be eligible for both programs but it is more common to qualify for only one program at a time.

What is Social Security Disability Income?

AARP explains that for people who have disabilities severe enough to preclude them from being able to work for a year or more or that even are expected to result in the person’s death, SSDI may be available. One essential element to this program is that it is funded by individuals’ own contributions in the form of payroll deductions.

Health care coverage under the SSDI plan is provided by Medicare and its various programs. The Social Security Disability Income program was originally created in 1960.

In addition to receiving benefits based upon one’s own contributions , dependents, spouses, widows and widowers may also claim benefits from a person’s contributions. The same is true for adult disabled children if they meet certain criteria.

What is Supplemental Security Income?

SSI is essentially a form of public assistance or welfare. This program was put into place in 1974 and was a replacement for multiple other public assistance programs. It helps people who are older, disabled or blind that have little to no income or financial resources and who are unable to work to provide for themselves.

Money for this program comes from the general income tax fund rather than from the individuals who receive SSI. When evaluating a person’s eligibility for SSI, cash, property and more may be included although generally one vehicle and a home may not be factored in and therefore would not work against a person’s eligibility for these benefits.

Is the claims process easy?

There can be many details involved and required for making a claim for either SSI or SSDI benefits. Even missing one item may increase a person’s chance of having a claim denied. For this reason, working with an attorney is advised for anyone who is in need of these benefits in Arkansas.