Supplemental Security Income vs. Social Security Disability: What’s the Difference?

October 12, 2018

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers various programs for seniors and the disabled to receive financial assistance.  When an injury or medical condition leaves individuals unable to provide for themselves, an SSA program can be a lifeline for those in need.

But which program may be available for you or your family member?  The eligibility qualifications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security disability are quite different.  What programs are available and which may provide resources to you or your loved one should be understood from the outset of the application process to ensure timely and effective filing for benefits.

If you or a family member are in need of financial assistance and you believe Social Security may be an option, contacting an experienced SSI and Social Security disability attorney at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA provides you with the opportunity to receive a free consultation regarding your options and your rights.

With no obligation, there is no substitute for calling or emailing now to discuss your SSI or disability claim.  For a brief explanation of the difference between SSI and Social Security disability, continue reading below.

Supplemental Security Income: The Basics

SSI is a “needs based” program funded by federal taxes.  Although it is administered by the SSA, it is not funded by Social Security taxes.  We will circle back to this point, because it is important for understanding the difference between SSI and Social Security disability.

SSI is available to disabled or blind children and adults, as well as to adults age 65 and older, who have limited income, assets, and resources.  The income limits are low and change yearly, and asset levels are $2,000 or less ($3,000 or less for couples).

Applicants must establish both their financial eligibility as well as their conditional eligibility (i.e., disability, blindness, or age).  Establishing age or blindness are relatively simple, but establishing a disability without the assistance of an experienced attorney can be difficult.  That is why it is recommended to discuss your application with an attorney prior to filing.

SSI vs. Social Security Disability

Social Security disability is funded by Social Security taxes paid on wages.  Those who work pay into the Social Security pool of money, and after certain time and length requirements of “paying in” are eligible to receive disability benefits if a disability occurs.

SSI, on the other hand, does not require a “paying in” to receive benefits.  SSI is available to anyone who qualifies regardless of whether the applicant has worked, payed Social Security tax, or otherwise “paid in” to the system.  Whereas people who have a work history typically may receive benefits through Social Security disability, anyone else who might “fall through the cracks” of the disability system can receive necessary benefits when the financial and conditional requirements are met.

Contact an Ohio Social Security Disability and SSI Benefit Lawyer Now

Whether you are considering filing or have recently had your application denied, Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA’s team of disability lawyers is here to help.  Call or email us now to find out how having an attorney on your side can help expedite your claim and maximize your monthly benefits.

Back To Blog