Can I receive both SSI and SSDI at the same time in 2021?

Can I Receive both SSI and SSDI at the Same Time?

In some circumstances, you can receive both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits at the same time. This is commonly referred to as “concurrent benefits”. To receive concurrent benefits, you must be approved for SSDI, but receive low monthly payments through the program.

A low monthly SSDI benefit is caused by several factors:

  • You have worked very little or not at all in the last 10 years
  • You had very little work history at the time you became disabled
  • You became disabled at a young age, before building a significant work history
  • You earned relatively low wages throughout the course of your employment history

All of these factors can influence the amount of SSDI benefits because payments are based on meeting minimum health eligibility requirements and having sufficient “work credits” built up over the course of your employment history. To learn more about work credits, click here.

SSI is an income-based or financial need-based program. All income from “countable sources” is reviewed to determine whether you meet the requirements for the SSI program.

Countable income is made up of earned income as well as several types of “unearned income”. SSDI payments are considered to be “unearned income”. In other words, any money you earn cannot exceed established minimums under the SSI program.

In most instances, SSI unearned income limits are set at $710 per month; however, in some states the limit is higher.

Eligibility for the SSI program is fairly complex. Income – both earned and unearned – is considered when determining financial-need, but so are other financial resources or assets.

Just as there is a monthly limit on income for SSI eligibility, there is also a total available asset limit. Asset limits are set at $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for married couples.

If your income and assets are too high to qualify for SSI benefits, you may still meet the criteria for SSDI. Likewise, even if you don’t have the work history/credits to receive SSDI benefits, you may still qualify for SSI. However, if you meet the financial and medical requirements, there are instances in which you can qualify to receive both SSI and SSDI at the same time.

Additional Resources

Submitted by: Molly Clarke