Published on: September 20, 2023
If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you may qualify for monthly payments through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs administered. The Social Security Administration administers these programs, but some people may be eligible to simultaneously collect benefits through both programs.
The disability professionals at Disability Experts of Florida want to ensure that you receive all of the financial assistance available to you, so this article explains how you may qualify for SSI and SSDI together. It also answers a common question: How much do SSI and SSDI pay together?
What Are The SSI And SSDI Programs?
SSDI and SSI pay benefits to people who cannot work because of a disability. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes at a job or through self-employment to qualify for benefits under the program.
The SSI program does not require a work record and payment of Social Security taxes to qualify for benefits. Instead, it is a need-based program to provide money for food, shelter, and other necessities. The program is available to adults and children with very low incomes and total resources, such as a home or bank account, valued at no more than $2,000.
If you worked and paid into the Social Security system, you may be eligible for benefits through both SSI and SSDI. However, SSI considers payments you receive from SSDI, so you would not receive the full SSI benefit payment.
How Much Does SSI And SSDI Pay Together?
If you qualify for full benefits through SSI, the 2023 monthly benefit is a maximum of $194 for an individual and $1,371 for eligible couples. Many states supplement the federal SSI benefit, so check with a disability advocate at Disability Experts of Florida to find out how much your total SSI benefit will be for the month.
The SSDI pay each month depends on an eligible worker’s lifetime earnings. The maximum SSDI payment in 2023 is $3,627, but the average monthly benefit is $1,483.
If you qualify to receive SSI and SSDI benefits, a situation the Social Security Administration calls concurrent eligibility, do not expect to receive maximum SSI pay each month. Social Security counts SSDI pay as income when determining how much you qualify to receive through SSI. However, income exclusions may keep some of your SSDI benefits from affecting your SSI.
For example, suppose you qualify for concurrent benefits with $300 a month from SSDI. Of the $300, which Social Security classifies as unearned income, you can exclude $20 of it. The remaining $280 counts against the SSI benefit, so the $914 maximum SSI is reduced to $634.
Advantages Of Getting Both SSDI And SSI
Although eligibility for SSDI benefits may reduce your monthly SSI payment, there are advantages to qualifying for concurrent benefits, including the following:
- For someone who worked at a low-paying job for only the minimum time needed to be eligible for SSDI, SSI benefits offer a much-needed monthly payment to augment reduced SSDI benefits.
- SSDI has a six-month waiting period before payments begin, so SSI, which does not have a waiting period, provides a source of income.
- Medicare coverage is available for people eligible to receive SSDI benefits, but there is a 24-month waiting period before you become eligible for health insurance coverage. If you qualify for SSI, you may be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Medicaid is a program administered by the states, so check with Disability Experts of Florida to determine the availability of coverage in your state.
- When you become eligible for Medicare coverage because of SSDI eligibility, Medicaid becomes the secondary carrier when you are also eligible for SSI. Medicaid covers prescription medications and deductibles that Medicare may not cover.
The advantages of concurrent eligibility may outweigh any reduction in the monthly SSI pay caused by your SSDI benefits.
Applying for SSDI and SSI together
To apply for SSDI and SSI, you must complete only one application online, by phone, or in person. The application asks for information about your medical condition, work history, income, and resources.
The SSA reviews the application to determine if you meet the non-medical criteria for both programs. For SSDI, that means having a work history long enough at jobs or self-employment subject to payment of Social Security taxes. It will also look to see if your income and resources meet the eligibility guidelines for SSI. Once it is determined that you meet the non-medical requirements for eligibility, your application will be reviewed to decide whether or not it also meets the medical criteria, proving you have a disability that qualifies for benefits.
Get Help From An Experienced Disability Advocate
There is too much at stake not to seek help and advice from an experienced disability advocate at Disability Experts of Florida. Whether you need help with an application, an appeal, or to find out how much does SSI and SSDI pay, contact our disability professionals today for a free consultation and claim review.