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Understanding SSI and SSD

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Help from New York Social Security Lawyers: What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSD?

In the alphabet soup of government programs available to injured workers, two of the most common acronyms are “SSI” and “SSD” (also known as “SSDI”). These stand for “Supplemental Security Income” and “Social Security Disability Insurance,” respectively. While both of these programs are administered by the Social Security Administration, they are based on different eligibility criteria and serve largely distinct groups of people. If you have questions or concerns about your eligibility, contact our Social Security lawyers today.

Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides federal benefits to individuals who have limited income and resources and who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Aged 65 or older
  • Blind
  • Disabled

For the purposes of the SSI program, an adult is “disabled” when he or she has a physical or mental impairment that:

  • Results in an inability to do any substantial gainful activity and
  • Can be expected to result in death, or
  • Has lasted or can be expected to last for 12 months or more.

The upper limit of resources an applicant can own and still qualify for the program is $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. However, the SSA does not consider all income and resources to be countable. For example, the value of an applicant’s home and the land it sits on do not count toward the resource limit, while income tax refunds do not count toward the income limit. Any income and resources that are countable, but are below the limit, are offset from the applicant’s SSI benefit.

Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability (SSD) program pays cash benefits to individuals and certain members of their families who suffer an injury or illness that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity. Under this scheme, an individual is considered to be “disabled” when:

  • They cannot transition to other work because of their illness or injury, and
  • The disability is expected to last for a year or more or result in death

The applicant must also have worked for a certain length of time (known as “work credits) and paid Social Security taxes. Once an applicant is deemed to qualify for the program, the benefits available vary according to the recipient’s average lifetime earnings before his or her disability began. The SSA uses a complex formula to determine this amount, but the maximum monthly benefit per person in 2019 is $2,861.

Contact the New York Social Security Lawyers at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco for More Information

For more information about SSI, SSD, and how you might qualify for either program, please contact the New York Social Security disability lawyers at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco & Rosasco by using our online form or calling us at 877-693-2529 (New York City), 516-745-5666 (Garden City), 631-582-3700 (Ronkonkoma), or 631-399-0400 (Shirley/Riverhead). We serve New York City and Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County.

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