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If you qualify, concurrent SSI and SSDI benefits are possible

If you happen to be living with a disability that renders you unable to work, help is out there. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can provide you with not only Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but also Supplemental Security Income (SSI), if you qualify.

While you may have previously thought that SSI and SSDI were only available to two different groups, in truth, there are many cases of overlap. For those in need, these “concurrent benefits” can offer much needed financial help in the event that you’re unable to work.

The differences between SSI and SSDI

It’s important to understand that while they share a similar purpose, SSDI and SSI are two different things.

Typically, you’re eligible for SSDI if you’ve paid into the social security system with taxable income. SSDI calls for a baseline amount to have been paid in, and there are certain eligibility factors that your disability must meet. Also, your taxable income history determines your SSDI payments, i.e., the more you’ve earned, the greater your benefits.

SSI is designed for low-income individuals who don’t qualify for SSDI. There is not a minimum work history requirement, so typically those who have not worked enough to receive SSDI will apply for SSI. The SSA calculates these benefits based on your income and resources, and they’re payable up to the maximum federal rate.

How can you qualify for both?

While concurrent benefits serve a very specific subset, you may qualify under certain economic conditions. For example, if you’ve worked long enough to receive SSDI, but the monthly payment is small due to low wages, you may be eligible for SSI as well. It doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes those who receive SSDI actually get less than a disabled person receiving SSI, so they would become eligible for both.

SSA benefits can be complex when it comes to rules and eligibility requirements. It’s often in your best interests to consult with an attorney who is well-versed in these benefits as opposed to going it alone. Regardless, if you’re unable to work, it’s important that you know what assistance is out there in your time of need. SSDI, SSI or a combination of both can provide you with stability when you need it most.

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