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SSI/SSDI

(Disclaimer: All information taken from www.ssa.gov)

What is SSI?

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.  SSI benefits are also payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits and is based on the financial need or income of the family.

  1. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for adults
  2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for children with disabilities  (Also based on family’s income)

SSI makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, or blind or disabled. Your child younger than age 18 can qualify if he or she meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if his or her income and resources fall within the eligibility limits. The amount of the SSI payment is different from one state to another because some states add to the SSI payment. Your local Social Security office can tell you more about your state’s total SSI payment.

SSI Eligibility = Medicaid Eligibility

SSI Eligibility <> Medicare Eligibility  (>=65 = Medicare (or renal / Lou Gehrig’s diseases)


What is SSDI?

SSDI provides benefits to disabled or blind persons who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These contributions are based on your earnings (or those of your spouse or parents) as required by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Title II of the Social Security Act authorizes SSDI benefits. Your dependents may also be eligible for benefits from your earnings record.

  1. For You Based on Your Work History
  2. For Your Disabled Adult Children (DAC)

The SSDI program pays benefits to adults who have a disability that began before they became 22 years old. We consider this SSDI benefit as a “child’s” benefit because it is
paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record.  For a disabled adult to become entitled to this “child” benefit, one of his or her parents:

  1. Must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or
  2. Must have died and have worked long enough under Social Security.

These benefits also are payable to an adult who received dependents benefits on a parent’s Social Security earnings record prior to age 18, if he or she is disabled at age 18. Disability decision is made using the disability rules for adults.  SSDI disabled adult “child” benefits continue as long as the individual remains disabled. Your child does not need to have worked to get these benefits.


Can I go back to work and still get Social Security Disability benefits?

If you receive Social Security disability payments and want to go back to work but need to keep your benefits, you can look into the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program.   This Program gives you more information about keeping your benefits while you work.  An agencies that can assist you is vaACCSES.  You can also get this information through WorkWORLD.  This computer program is free.


Can I go back to work and still keep my Medicaid?

Learn about Medicaid Works!


You can receive both SSI & SSDI at the same time:

SSI Monthly Max = $698/Individual, $1048/couple

SSDI Monthly Max = Varies from person to person and is based upon the wage earner’s (or their parents’ or spouse’s) average lifetime earnings.


Comparison Of the SSDI And SSI Disability Programs


Useful Links

Federal Sites Social Security Administration: The Red Book – A Guide To Work Incentives

Virginia Sites VA Department for Aging And Rehabilitative Services
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