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Difference Between SSDI And SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are very different from one another, while the benefits could be considered the same in a number of ways. Many individuals seek one or the other depending upon their situation when they become disabled and their disability fits what the Social Security Administration classifies as a disability.

The reason why these benefits are available is because disability is not something a person wants or something they can help. They cannot make it go away any faster and sometimes it doesn’t ever go away. Because of this, they may be unable to work. Without help, they could become homeless. This is why the SSDI lawyer exists. The lawyer ensures that all of the paperwork is filled out correctly and remains by your side throughout the process so that you are able to receive an approval as soon as possible, even if the claim is initially denied and needs to be appealed.


SSDI is for the disabled person who has worked at least 5 of the past 10 years. Those years don’t have to be worked consecutively. The number of years can also vary based upon a person’s age. For instance, someone 24 and under does not need to have as many work credits as someone 25-30 and someone 25-30 doesn’t have to have as many credits as someone who is 31 and up. These credits are more appropriately called “quarters,” and one quarter is equal to 3 months. In other words, a person needs to have acquired 20 quarters within the past 10 years to qualify for benefits.

The average benefit amount is around $900 per month, but can be expected to be at least 40% of the recipient’s pre-disability income. Two years after benefits start, Medicare is available to help with medical costs and this also frees up some income. Not all medical expenses are covered, but there are plans to help with the cost that can be added to your Medicare plan.


SSI requirements are:

  • Over the age of 65
  • Disabled
  • Blind
  • Limited income
  • Limited resources
  • U.S. citizen

The most important requirement is having a disability that prevents work. A person does not have to have a prior work history to qualify for SSI. This is where it largely differs from SSDI. It may, however, be easier for a person to lose this benefit. For instance, they enter an institution such as a hospital, halfway house, public shelter, or related facility for more than 90 days – they can lose benefits.

Contact Our Experienced SSDI Lawyers

If you are disabled and you wish to know if you qualify for SSDI or SSI, it is best to talk to your attorney as soon as possible. When you speak with your attorney, you will give details about your disability so that those details can be evaluated and a determination to file can be made. The Social Security Administration has very strict requirements, so it is a must to make sure those requirements are fulfilled. To learn more about how the Reitan Law Office can help you, call our Mankato office at 507-388-1800, our Frago office at 701-581-7854, our Chaska office at 952-448-2800, our Minneapolis office at 612-424-6011, or fill out the contact form to schedule your free case consultation.