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What is the difference between SSI and SSD?


Both Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disabilitybenefits provide assistance to disabled individuals who meet the federal definition of "disability."However, our readers may wonder what the differences between SSI and SSD are. There are similarities and differences between the two programs, and determining what benefits you may qualify for can depend on an understanding of the similarities and differences. It is generally important for disabled individuals to be able to obtain the benefits they badly need, so it is worth understanding the similarities and differences and how you may qualify for benefits.

Supplemental Security Income is available for disabled individuals, as well as the elderly and the blind. It is available to meet their basic needs, including food and shelter, that they might otherwise have a difficult time securing. The income and resources, or means, of the individual to provide for their needs helps determine their eligibility for benefits, which is unlike how applicants for Social Security Disability benefits financially qualify for SSD benefits. SSD does not look at income and assets to qualify for benefits; it is based on work history and those who have paid in, and meet disability requirements, are entitled to receive it.

Additionally, recipients of SSI benefits immediately qualify for Medicaid, whereas SSD beneficiaries may qualify for Medicare at some point. It is also important to be aware that the amount of financial benefit the recipient receives can vary considerably between the two programs. As always, the applicant for either type of benefit must also meet the requirements to be considered disabled, which means they must have a physical or mental medical condition expected to last for 12 months or longer, or result in death, that prevents them from working.

There are many resources out there that are available to disabled individuals, which can also make the process seem complex. As a result, it is important for individuals suffering from a disability, and their families, to be as familiar with those options as possible.

Source: Special Needs Answers, "Three Big Differences Between SSI and SSDI," Accessed Dec. 5, 2016

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