What is SSDI?


It may seem like an intimidating acronym but SSDI really is not. SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance.

According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, “Social Security Disability Insurance pays monthly benefits to workers who are no longer able to work due to a significant illness or impairment that is expected to last at least a year or to result in death within a year.”

It is important to note that SSDI is very different from SSI, which stands for Supplemental Security Income. Both programs are overseen by the Social Security Administration [SSA] and eligibility is determined the same way for both but there are distinct differences between them.

SSDI is available to those who have earned enough work credits while SSI is for those who are low-income who have not worked before or have not earned enough work credits to qualify.

For SSDI there are a couple standard requirements that must be met:

  • Must be younger than 65 years old
  • Must have earned a certain number of work credits

The requirements seems easy enough but it is the having a certain number of work credits where most fall short. If qualified though, there is a five-month waiting period for benefits. That means the first five months following you becoming disabled you will not receive benefits from SSA.

How much you receive monthly following the waiting period is dependent on your earnings record. After receiving SSDI for two years, you will become eligible for Medicare.

It is also nice to note that the spouse and/or children of the disabled are eligible to receive partial dependent benefits, aka auxiliary benefits. It is only available to those over the age of 18.

SSI is a bit different than SSDI. For starters, the basic requirements are not the same:

  • Must have less than $2,000 in assets and a very limited income
  • If a couple, must have less than $3,000 in assets and a very limited income

The program itself is also different from SSDI. SSI is need-based and is funded by general fund taxes. SSDI is funded through payroll taxes. SSI also has nothing to do with work history. It is solely based on financial need.

Those who meet the income requirements for SSI are also allowed to receive Medicaid in their home state and most will also qualify for food stamps. SSI benefits begin on the first of the month when you first submit your application.

As with any form of compensation, it is crucial how you represent yourself and prove your need for SSDI. If you’re looking to apply or to appeal for SSDI, you should seek the counsel of an experienced SSDI lawyer. Here in New Jersey, the lawyers at Silverman & Roedel LLC are ready to help you get the benefits you deserve. To set up a free consultation contact our office today at 973-772-6411 today.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.