How Are Some People Able to Collect Both SSDI and SSI?

Submitted by CM on

Two programs managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) target what appears to be two separate audiences. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) acts as a financial safety net for American workers that live with a qualifying disability.

On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides Americans that live below a certain income level with the financial resources to pay for necessities, such as groceries and transportation expenses.

Some Americans are eligible for both federal programs, which means they receive what the SSA calls “concurrent benefits.”

How to Get SSDI and SSI at the Same Time

How to get SSDI and SSI at the same time requires you to meet three primary standards established by the SSA. First, you must meet the medical guidelines outlined in the SSA healthcare journal called the Blue Book.

Updated one time a year, the Blue Book lists every medical condition that qualifies applicants to receive financial assistance for suffering from a disabling medical condition. Not only must you receive a diagnosis for a qualifying healthcare condition, but you also have to receive a diagnosis for symptoms that are severe enough to designate your healthcare condition as disabling.

If you meet the healthcare standards published in the Blue Book, collecting both SSI and SSDI requires you to meet two important financial thresholds. First, your income that includes SSI benefits cannot exceed $841 a month.

The income limit changes every year, as well as varies among each of the 50 states. Second, you cannot own more than $2,000 worth of assets as an individual and $3,000 worth of assets if you are married.

What Happens If You Get Both SSI and SSDI

If you are eligible to receive both SSI and SSDI benefits, you receive a monthly check for the coverage provided by both SSA-managed programs. However, your monthly payment for disability benefits might be lower than the maximum threshold to ensure you remain within the income guidelines established by the SSI program.

The SSA does not take into account the first $20 of unearned income. For example, if you qualify to receive $600 a month in SSDI benefits, your monthly SSI check would be $261. $841 minus $580 equals a total payment of $261. If you receive financial assistance from both the SSI and SSDI programs, you might qualify for both programs for a limited amount of time.

What If I Get One and Not the Other

Because of the complex rules to qualify for both SSI and SSDI, you might be eligible for one program while not qualifying for the other federal program. For example, you might qualify for disability benefits, but you have reached the maximum value allowed for receiving SSI benefits.

This means you are better off financially by taking advantage of the SSI maximum threshold for financial assistance. You pay for medical care out of your monthly SSI check.

Find Help with Your Claim

The complex standards established by the SSA for both SSI and SSDI financial assistance can make it difficult for you to maximize the benefits offered by both federal programs. Working with a Social Security attorney can help you receive maximum financial assistance, without jeopardizing your eligibility status for both programs.

Schedule a free case evaluation to find out more about both SSA-managed programs.

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