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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)


    Supplemental Security Income benefits, usually called by the abbreviation "SSI" are paid to disabled persons who have low income and minimal assets and who have not worked long enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

    SSI benefits are also called "Title XVI" or "Title 16" benefits because that is the section of the federal law that provides for the benefits.

    Social Security Disability benefits are abbreviated as "SSD" or "SSDI" and are called "Title II" or "Title 2" benefits.

    The rules for proving disability are the same for both SSI and SSD.  When a person applies to Social Security for disability benefits, the government usually checks to see if a person qualifies for both SSI and SSD.

    The main difference between SSD and SSI is that a person needs to have worked long enough to qualify for SSD.  A person usually needs to have worked for 5 of the last 10 years before becoming disabled to get SSD.

    To qualify for SSI, a person generally cannot have more than $2000 in assets (or $3000 if married).

    Because of these rules for qualifying for SSD and SSI, a person, even if disabled, may not be able to get either SSD or SSI if he or she has not worked long enough but has too much in assets.

    As of 2007, the maximum amount a person can get in monthly SSI benefits is $623.  This monthly amount is reduced if the person has other income.

    A disabled person may qualify for both SSD and SSI if (1) he or she has worked enough to qualify for SSD and (2) his or her assets are below the $2000 (or $3000 if married) level for SSI.  If the person's SSD benefit is less than the SSI maximum of $623, he or she will get both monthly SSI and SSD payments.  (For example, $500 in SSD and $123 in SSI).  If the SSD benefit is more than the SSI maximum, then only the SSD benefit will be paid.

    SSI benefits can only be paid as of the date that the person filed for the benefits.  SSD benefits can be paid for up to 1 year before the filing date.

    SSD benefits are not paid for the first 5 months that a person is disabled.  There is no waiting period for SSI.

    A person who has been receiving SSD benefits for 2 years can get Medicare.  Persons who receive SSI usually qualify for Medicaid.

    The following table sets forth the differences between SSD and SSI.


Differences Between SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability Supplemental Security Income
Also called SSD, SSDI, Title II, Title 2 Also called SSI, Title XVI, Title 16
Must have worked to qualify (5 of 10 years) No work history required
No limit on assets $2000 asset limit ($3000 if married)
Benefits can be paid as of 1 year before filing Benefits can only be paid as of the filing date.
No benefits paid for 1st 5 months of disability No waiting period
Can get Medicare after 2 years of benefits Can get Medicaid


When You Need a Social Security Disability Lawyer,

Rely on Us for Skill, Determination and Experience.

Attorney John Serrano - Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Immigration, Workers Compensation.  Hartford, Waterbury

Please note that our law firm's website is designed to provide only general legal information.

This information is not intended to be legal advice for your individual situation.

Call us for personal injury, Social Security, divorce, bankruptcy, immigration, workers compensation and criminal cases.

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