People in Fayetteville who are considering applying for disability benefits may have come across two programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). They should know that these programs are both overseen by the Social Security Administration, but each have their own set of requirements to qualify for benefits.

The SSI program provides benefits through general tax revenues and caters to people based on financial need. In other words, people ages 65 and older, people who are blind or disabled people of any age, with limited income and resources may qualify for SSI benefits. Generally, the person must meet the Social Security’s disability criteria and have less than $2,000 in resources as an individual, or less than $3,000 in resources as a couple. Resources include cash, one’s income and other assets.

The SSDI benefits program is different in that its payment source is a disability trust fund and it requires people to have a disability (as defined by the SSA) as well as a qualifying work history, through their past employment or a family member’s past employment. to qualify for SSDI benefits. Over the course of your lifetime, you may work and pay Social Security taxes to earn work credits (up to four credits a year). The SSA will consider your lifetime average earnings (only earnings covered by Social Security) when determining the SSDI payment amount you receive each month.

In some cases, a disabled person can qualify for benefits under both the SSI and SSDI program if they have earned enough work credits for SSDI benefits and also meet the income and resources criteria for SSI benefits. Professional guidance is available to help you understand the differences between SSI and SSDI and help you apply for benefits through one or both programs.