Many California residents use certain forms of government assistance to help them get by when they have a disability or reach a certain age. Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance are two such benefit types, but there are some important differences that exist between the two.
According to the National Council on Aging, some of the key differences that exist between SSI and SSDI benefits include how Americans become eligible for them, how much they pay and whether there are health insurance implications.
Understanding SSI benefits
Before someone may start receiving SSI benefits, they must meet age and/or disability requirements. Unless applicants are at least 65, they need to have blindless or a disability that qualifies them. They also have to have limited access to income and resources to potentially qualify for these benefits. Typically, once someone in California starts getting SSI payments, they also become eligible for medical assistance.
Understanding SSDI benefits
Whether an applicant receives approval for SSDI benefits depends on the type and severity of the disability he or she has. It also depends on whether the applicant has enough of a work history in a position covered by Social Security. Once 24 months have passed from the time an applicant starts getting SSDI benefits, he or she automatically qualifies for Medicare.
Keep in mind that the U.S. Social Security Administration recognizes a strict, narrow definition of the term “disability.” Also, individuals with partial or short-term disabilities are not eligible for SSI or SSDI payments. Some applicants who receive denials after making SSI or SSDI claims receive approval for benefits after filing appeals.