July 31, 2013

There are two programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for individuals who are disabled and unable to work:  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).  It is easy to confuse the programs because both are administered by the SSA and both are to assist people who are disabled.  Most people are not clear which one they should apply for, or if they should apply for both.

SSI is a needs-based program based on an individual’s financial assets and income.  In Florida, if you receive SSI, you also receive Medicaid.

SSDI is an insurance program based upon taxes you have paid in to the SSA.  The amount you are eligible to receive is based upon your work history and your contributions to Social Security and Medicare through payroll taxes.   If you qualify for SSDI, you also become eligible for Medicare after 30 months.

The good news is that if you are not sure which program is best for you, the SSA should screen applicants for both programs.  Some people can receive benefits from both programs.  If you have questions, please call our office at 904-981-9812.


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