There are many misconceptions that Georgia residents may have when they first encounter a new situation. This is often the case when it comes to Social Security disability benefits, as individuals may not have a full understanding of how the system works until they find themselves in need of financial assistance.

One common misconception involves the difference been Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both of these programs are managed by the Social Security Administration, but they involve different federal requirements for eligibility.

SSDI benefits for injuries may be available for those younger than 65 years of age who have earned work credits after working for a certain number of years. There are other requirements that must be met as well, in order for an applicant to be eligible for SSDI. Individuals may be eligible for Medicare after having been on the program for a certain period of time.

SSI is a different need-based program, which is funded by general fund taxes instead of amounts paid into the system. SSI is only available for those who have a limited income and resources. In addition, recipients must typically be United States citizens or a national, and live in the United States.

SSI payments, as noted above, are based on the financial need of the recipient. Accordingly, the amount of payment that is available will vary from person to person, although there is a maximum federal benefit rate in place. States may also add to the federal benefit rate.

Ultimately, individuals should be aware of all benefits for which they may be eligible. By understanding the programs out there and their eligibility requirements, individuals can put themselves in the best possible position in light of their financial need.

Source: Disability.gov, “What’s the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income,” accessed on Sept. 5, 2015