The two most common types of disability benefits in the United States are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). While both programs are administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), they have different eligibility requirements and provide different types of assistance.
One question that frequently arises is whether it is possible to receive both SSDI and SSI benefits at the same time. The answer is yes, but it is not common.
SSDI is a federal program that provides benefits to individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a qualified number of years but are now unable to work due to a disability. To be eligible for SSDI, a person must have a disability that is expected to last at least 12 months and prevent them from doing any substantial gainful activity. The amount of the monthly benefit is based on the person’s earnings and contributions over their working life.
SSI is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. To be eligible for SSI, a person must have a disability that prevents them from doing any substantial gainful activity and meet strict household income and asset requirements.
If a person’s SSDI benefit falls below the federal maximum for SSI, they may be eligible to receive both benefits. This is known as “concurrent” SSDI/SSI benefits. However, it is important to note that receiving both SSDI and SSI benefits is not common. If a person is eligible for concurrent benefits, their SSI cannot exceed the federal benefit rate (FBR), which has been set at $914 for 2023. Accordingly, if someone’s SSDI payment falls below the FBR, they might qualify for additional SSI benefits up to that amount, provided they otherwise are eligible based on financial need requirements.