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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Main Differences Between Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income

Nov 01, 2013 03:52PM ● By Amy G. Bellhorn, Esq.

If a person is disabled and unable to work, they might be entitled to benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA features two programs to provide disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, there are differences between the two programs.



What are Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?

SSD are benefits that a person has accrued by paying Social Security through employment for a certain amount of time. You have to pay into the system five years to be eligible for this benefit, and the amount of this benefit depends upon how much was paid. You can pay in enough to earn disability benefits for yourself and a dependent. After five years of not paying Social Security tax or not paying enough, a person will run out of eligibility for this type of benefit due to no longer being insured.

In addition to these criteria, a person must also have a medical condition that meets the definition of disability under Social Security. Disability is defined as a physical and/or mental condition that has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death, and it must prevent a person from not only doing their past work but also any other job.

If a person is approved for SSD, he or she will be eligible for Medicare after the waiting requirement has been met. The health insurance aspect is an extremely important component for most people who are applying for SSD.


What is Supplemental Security Income?

Unlike SSD, for SSI a person does not have to have worked and met the credit requirement. The person does have to fall within the income, asset and resource limits to be eligible on a non-medical basis. For example, for single individuals you cannot have more than $2,000 in resources, and $3,000 if you are married.

SSI has the same definition of disability as SSD. However, unlike SSD where a person would be entitled to Medicare, a person would automatically be eligible for Medicaid if they are approved for SSI. No matter how severe a person’s health conditions, if he or she is over income, assets or resource limits, that person will be denied for non-medical eligibility.

A person can receive SSD and SSI, and he or she can also be only eligible for either of the programs, depending upon work history and income, asset and resource limits for SSI. If approved for SSD and SSI, the person can also get Medicaid and Medicare.

Attorney Amy Bellhorn is a voice for the injured and the disabled, and she practices SSD, SSI and Child’s SSI in Tampa Bay, surrounding areas and nationally. features a variety of videos and information about SSD, SSI and Child’s SSI. The website presents the information in different formats such as videos, sound bites, and written content that offers varied font sizes, accompanied by calming background colors and music to assist and accommodate those with pain, depression, fatigue, concentration, memory issues and other limitations or health conditions.


For a free consultation on these and other areas of law such as Auto Accidents, Traffic Tickets, DUIs, and Criminal Defense, fill out the online form for Law Offices of Amy Bellhorn, PLLC at, call 727-822-7121, or email [email protected] Connect on social media FB, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.

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