Differences Between SSI and SSDI

Assets. To receive SSI, the claimant’s “countable resources must not be worth more than $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple. Resources include cash, stocks and bonds, bank accounts, real estate (except the home the claimant lives in) and vehicles (except one vehicle used for transportation), household goods and personal effects.

SSDI, on the other hand, places no limits on income or resources to qualify. SSDI is paid out of the Social Security trust fund to those who have worked and paid FICA taxes for the required number of years. Even highly paid individuals are entitled to collect SSDI if they meet the federal definition of disability.

The Benefit Amounts Vary

As described above, an SSI recipient’s maximum monthly benefit is $733 beginning in 2015. The monthly benefit for a SSDI recipient will vary based on the lifetime earnings.  The average SSDI benefit is around $1150 per month.  The maximum SSDI benefit (as of 2015) is $2,663 monthly.

The Health Care Programs are Different: Medicare versus Medicaid 

Medicaid is a joint state and federal health care program. Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia provide Medicaid eligibility to people eligible for SSI benefits. In these States, the SSI application serves also as the Medicaid application, and Medicaid eligibility begins the same month as SSI eligibility. Missouri and Illinois are among states in which Medicaid eligibility is not tied to SSI eligibility, and SSI claimants must submit a separate application for Medicaid or, as it is known in Missouri, MO HealthNet.

SSDI beneficiaries are eligible to receive Medicare two years after the date they are found disabled. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers most hospital care and most, but not all, primary medical care.

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