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Differences between long-term disability insurance, SSDI and SSI

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Social Security Disability

There are many different resources available for those who cannot work to support themselves. When health issues in particular are the underlying cause of a person’s economic struggles, there are certain forms of disability protection available.

Some people receive support through long-term disability insurance. Others receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Some working professionals could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

What are the differences between long-term disability insurance, SSI and SSDI benefits?

Long-term insurance coverage is private

People only have long-term disability coverage if they purchase it on their own behalf or secure it through an employment arrangement. Many people invest in long-term disability insurance to protect their families when they are the primary wage earner. Others may obtain coverage as part of a benefits package through an employer. Employer-sponsored disability coverage is private insurance but is also subject to strict federal regulations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Such policies have benefit amounts determined by policyholders or their employers and are often more generous than government disability benefits.

SSDI is available for those unable to work

Social Security Disability Insurance SSDI benefits are available to those under the age of 65 who have health issues that prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. SSDI benefits have a very high standard of disability, typically requiring someone to be completely unable to work. SSDI benefits are only available to those who become totally unable to work and who have an adequate work history. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees SSDI benefits, as well as SSI benefits.

SSI can help many people

SSI benefits can help certain groups of people cover basic life expenses. Some adults over the age of 65 may qualify for SSI benefits. Those with disabling medical conditions, including those who have never worked, can also qualify for SSI benefits.

Disability benefits are often crucial for the financial stability of those with major medical challenges. Those who understand the different types of disability benefits available, like SSDI and SSI benefits, may have an easier time knowing where to apply and for what benefits. Learning more about SSDI and SSI disability benefits and exploring relevant options may benefit those who find themselves suddenly unable to work.


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