The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two programs that help people with disabilities to make ends meet. These are the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSD) program. While they serve similar purposes, these are two very different programs.
Both programs require you to have a disability that is likely to last at least a year. You will have to show that you meet this requirement and that you are unable to earn a living wage because of the disability. This is where you will have to find out which program you are eligible for.
SSDI is only for people who have worked and earned credits for that work. This program is based on your wages earned and doesn’t have any asset limits. You can be wealthy and still obtain benefits from SSDI as long as you meet the disability requirements. The amount you receive depends on what your wage history looks like.
SSI is for people who don’t have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. There are income and asset limits for this program, and there is a maximum monthly payment amount that is dependent upon your current income. In 2019, the maximum benefit is $771 per month.
Both programs come with periodic reviews to determine whether you are still disabled or not. These reviews can happen as soon as every six months, but can go as long as seven years. The period between these is determined by the likelihood that you will have some improvement in the disabling condition. A review can also happen if you begin to earn an income during the time you are receiving benefits.
No matter which program you need to apply for, you should ensure that you understand your responsibilities and rights. This can help you to avoid problems during the application process.