Experienced Disability Lawyers

Can I qualify for and collect both SSI and SSDI?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income

A serious medical condition can prevent people from working and earning the income they need to survive. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be available to those who are unable to work for at least a year due to a disability.

SSDI vs. SSI

While there are some similarities between the SSDI and SSI programs, there are also several differences.

To qualify for the SSDI program, you must be disabled and have a sufficient number of work credits that you acquired through your own employment over the years or through a family member. Generally, you must have been employed by a job that required you to pay Social Security taxes.

The SSI program provides benefits to certain people with low incomes and limited resources, even if they never worked or paid Social Security Taxes. You may be entitled to SSI benefits if your income does not exceed the federal limit. In 2024, the income threshold is $943 per month for individuals ($1,415 for couples). You must also have a disability, blindness, or be at least 65 years old.

Can I qualify for both?

According to the Social Security Administration, there are certain individuals that are eligible for benefits under both the SSDI and SSI programs. Many people with disabilities have enough of a work history to qualify for SSDI, but your SSDI payments are lower than the maximum allowed, you may also qualify for SSI. If you are eligible for both, you may want to apply for concurrent benefits.

You may be eligible for both SSDI and SSI if:

  • You have a short work history due to becoming disabled early in your career.
  • You earned minimum wage.
  • You did not work full-time in the decade prior to your disability.

With SSDI and SSI benefits combined, you could end up receiving the maximum amount of benefits allowed each month. However, you may not be able to receive both types once you return to work.