You could receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in addition to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), if you meet the qualifications for both programs. Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers SSDI unearned income, these benefits count toward the income limits for SSI. This means you must qualify for a low benefit amount to receive both SSI and SSDI at the same time.
For more information on disability benefits, contact Berger and Green. Our disability lawyers can help you file your application for SSI and SSDI, or handle your appeal if you received a denial. Call 412-661-1400 today for a free consultation.
What Are the Differences Between SSDI and SSI?
SSDI bridges the gap between the time a worker can no longer work and when they can draw Social Security retirement benefits. It provides a way to continue to have regular income even you have a health condition that prevents you from earning a living.
SSI, on the other hand, provides additional income for those who cannot work and have little income and few assets. The goal of these payments is to allow families to afford their basic needs, such as food and clothing. Most people who meet the qualifications for SSI benefits will also receive medical coverage under Medicaid.
If you are already drawing SSDI benefits, and your monthly award is low, you could also qualify for SSI. This situation might apply if you:
- Worked a low-paying job; or
- Suffered a disability early in your career; or
- Did not work full-time in the 10 years before your impairment.
We can help you understand the qualifying criteria and other rules related to these programs and explain your options for getting as much income as possible. We will help you fight for the benefits we believe you qualify for, even if the SSA denied your application for benefits.
How Do I Qualify for SSDI and SSI?
Getting both SSDI and SSI is sometimes complex. You need to meet the strict guidelines for both programs, and also qualify for only a small benefit from SSDI.
- Meet the SSA’s definition of blind; or
- Suffer a qualifying impairment.
In addition, all SSI recipients meet strict income guidelines and have minimal assets and holdings. Remember, your unearned income from SSDI will count toward your total income.
Our attorneys understand these requirements of these benefit programs. We can examine your application and offer our determination on whether you meet the criteria for SSDI and SSI benefits.
How Do I Fight a Benefits Denial?
It is not unusual to receive a denial for one or both of these benefit programs, even if you feel certain you qualify. When this happens, it is important to remember you are not alone. A denial does not mean you will not ever get approved for benefits.
The SSA can deny you based on a number of reasons. You might have received a denial if:
- You accidentally left a blank on the application; or
- Your name, birthdate, and Social Security Number did not match; or
- There was another technical issue with your application; or
- You did not have the right number of work credits for SSDI; or
- You did not meet the income or asset limits for SSI; or
- The disability examiner did not believe you suffer from a qualifying impairment.
Some of these factors affect both SSDI and SSI, meaning you could receive a denial notice for both programs. If this happens to you, you have 60 days to request an appeals hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. If you call us during this period, we can handle the disability appeals process for you, walking with you every step of the way.
- Request your appeals hearing for you; and
- Look into why the SSA denied your claim; and
- Build a strong case to fight for benefits; and
- Represent you before the Administrative Law Judge and present your case; and
- Request they approve you for benefits from both programs.
If we can get you approved for benefits after the hearing, you will begin getting monthly benefits from the SSA within weeks. You might also get back benefits, which cover the time from your original application through the date of your appeals hearing.
How Can I Talk to a Disability Attorney About My Case?
At Berger and Green, our legal team can help you understand the qualifications for getting both SSDI and SSI benefits. We will explain the criteria you must meet, and can help you fight a denial if the SSA does not approve your claim.
Call our office today at 412-661-1400 to discuss your case with a member of our team.