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If you are thinking about filing for disability benefits, you may be unsure of whether you should pursue social security disability (SSDI) benefits or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) manages both programs, each form of insurance stems from a different government program.

The primary difference between these types of benefits is that SSDI is generally available to individuals who are working and have accumulated a certain number of work credits. SSI benefits, on the other hand, are available to low-income individuals who have never worked before or have not accumulated the number of work credits necessary for SSDI eligibility.

It is important to note, though, that specific requirements and processes exist for both forms of insurance. A skilled lawyer could help you make sense of the differences between SSDI and SSI in Raleigh and work to pursue the benefits you need.

How SSDI Benefits Work

One of the main differences between SSDI and SSI in Raleigh is that SSDI receives its funding through payroll taxes taken out of a worker’s paycheck. Generally, SSDI approval rates are also higher than those associated with SSI benefits. However, to be eligible for these disability insurance benefits, an applicant must generally meet the SSA’s qualifying criteria, which include being under the age of 65 as well as having accumulated the necessary number of work credits.

There is usually a five-month waiting period associated with SSDI benefits, meaning the SSA would not disburse benefits until five months after the applicant becomes disabled. The amount of benefits a successful applicant receives, on the other hand, would depend on their record of earnings while on the job.

Additionally, a disabled individual who has received SSDI coverage for a period of two years will then also become eligible for Medicare. Furthermore, the spouse and children of a disabled claimant might also be able to recover auxiliary benefits. A knowledgeable lawyer could further explain SSDI benefits and discuss whether or not they are right for specific circumstances.

The Coverage Under SSI

Unlike SSDI, general fund taxes—rather than the Social Security trust fund—supply the money for social security insurance benefits. Moreover, eligibility for SSI benefits does not take applicants’ work history into account, but instead is determined based strictly on their assets and income.

For an applicant to obtain SSI benefits, they must first satisfy the income threshold. Specifically, they must have limited income with less than $2,000 in assets. Couples, however, must have less than $3,000 in assets to be eligible for SSI benefits.

Many individuals who qualify for SSI disability benefits also qualify for Medicaid, as well as the possibility of receiving food stamps. An applicant might begin to receive their benefits under SSI on the first of the month after they have submitted their application.

Call a Raleigh  Attorney to Learn the Differences Between SSDI and SSI

Given the many differences between SSDI and SSI in Raleigh, it might be difficult to determine which option is right for you. Instead of trying to navigate the insurance system alone, consider seeking help from an experienced lawyer.

A knowledgeable attorney could discuss the nuances of each form of insurance, examine your unique circumstances—including your financial security, work history, and related disability—and help to determine your eligibility for benefits. They could then help build a thorough claim so you can pursue the benefits you deserve. For more information about which benefits may be available to you, call today.