Many disabled Arkansas residents find themselves unable to work, but that doesn’t mean that bills don’t need to be paid. Luckily, there are various benefits they can receive to help with food, bills, and medical costs. If you’ve looked into different benefits offered by the Social Security Administration, you’ve probably come across two common programs: Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. Both are similar yet different, but can one person actually qualify for both?

Below, we’ll explore the differences between SSI and SSDI and what you can do to qualify for both at the same time. 

social security benefits paperwork

What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a needs-based program that provides certain qualifying individuals with little or no income. In order to qualify, a person must be either over the age of 65, blind, or have a physical or mental disability. They must fall under the income cut off – $943 a month per individual or $1,415 per couple – in order to qualify for SSI benefits. Not all income will count toward that total, and an SSI attorney would be the best resource for helping you qualify for supplemental income. SSI isn’t tied to Social Security, although benefits are determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). It has no contribution requirements and isn’t associated with work history, meaning that the program is simply based on the needs of the individual applying.

What is SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an insurance program for disabled individuals that assists with medical costs. SSDI is for those who paid Social Security taxes on past income and can also apply to other family members. In the event that a person becomes disabled, he or she can apply for SSDI through the SSA to receive monthly payments. Only those with approved disabilities qualify, and the payment you received is based on your Social Security earnings record. SSDI works on a credit system, so as long as you’ve worked enough in the past, you’ll have enough credits to receive SSDI benefits. 

How Do I Qualify for Both SSI and SSDI?

A person can qualify for both SSI and SSDI at the same time. Known as concurrent benefits, a person may be eligible for both programs as long as they meet the criteria for both programs. Receiving both benefits can increase your monthly payout from the SSA and determine if you qualify for other benefits like Medicare and SNAP. An attorney knowledgeable in Arkansas Social Security matters can help you determine whether you qualify for SSI, SSDI, or concurrent benefits. Once you apply, the SSA will go over your paperwork to decide which benefits you qualify for and how much you will receive.

SSI and SSDI Attorneys in Arkansas

At the American Disability Action Group, we specialize in assisting our clients with maximizing their SSI and SSDI benefits. Our Social Security law experts can assist with paperwork, represent you at hearings, and help you navigate the benefits system. We offer free consultations and case evaluations, so don’t hesitate to contact our team to learn more about how we can help you receive the benefits that you deserve.