Many people don't realize that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are separate programs. In fact, these programs are intended to help different groups of people. At the Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC in Clarksville, Tennessee, our Christian attorneys help people in the community understand the difference between the two programs and work with them to apply to the program that is most likely to help them. Our attorneys have been compassionately serving clients in Tennessee since 1984.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that functions similarly to Social Security. As you work and pay taxes, you accumulate "work credits." Workers under 65 years of age who become disabled and have amassed enough work credits can qualify for benefits. The number of work credits needed in order to qualify varies by age. For each year you work, you can earn four work credits. Nearly all full-time workers earn four credits per year.
Qualification is based on the total number of credits earned as well as the number of credits earned recently. For those 31 years old or older to qualify, they must have spent five of the last 10 years working. Requirements differ for those who are younger and for some people who are blind. The total number of credits needed to qualify ranges from six (one-and-a-half years of work) to 40 (10 years of work). Our attorneys help Tennessee clients fill out the appropriate paperwork to apply for SSDI benefits. We also work to get your family members any auxiliary benefits they are entitled to.
Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program differs from SSDI in that SSI is based entirely on the needs of the applicant. Even those who have never worked may be eligible for these benefits if they are unable to work and meet the financial requirements. The income limit for eligibility is based on the federal benefit rate (FBR), a number that changes over time but is currently under $750. Determining which income counts toward this number can be complicated, so it is important to meet with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss whether you qualify, even if you make more than the FBR.
Trust an experienced Clarksville attorney to help you understand SSI and SSDI
Understanding the difference between SSI and SSDI is easier when you have a caring attorney to help you understand which programs you qualify for and why. At the Kennedy Law Firm, PLLC, our team of Christian attorneys is dedicated to helping people understand their rights and collect the benefits they need. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Tennessee Social Security disability attorney, contact us online or call us at 931-444-5620.