The Difference Between Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income

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Experienced Florida Social Security Disability Attorney Antonio L. Viera of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. Explains the Two Programs

"Many folks use the terms Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) interchangeably but, in fact, they are very different programs."

Two government programs administered by the Social Security Administration – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – offer benefits to disabled workers who are no longer able to work. But the requirements for eligibility in these programs are vastly different.

“Many folks use the terms Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) interchangeably but, in fact, they are very different programs,” said Social Security Disability Attorney Antonio L. Viera of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. “One is based on financial need, according to income and financial assets. The other provides insurance benefits based on medical disability for individuals who can no longer work.”

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that was introduced in 1974 to replace and restructure existing federal-state assistance programs, offering standardized eligibility requirements and level of benefits. SSI is managed by the Social Security Administration and funded by the U.S. Treasury general funds. SSI is based on financial need, providing monthly stipends to low income individuals who are blind, disabled, or over the age of 65.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a payroll-tax funded government program designed to provide insurance benefits to disabled individuals who have contributed a sufficient amount through FICA taxes. Workers must have a medical condition that meets the Social Security Administration definition of disability and be unable to work.

“To qualify for Supplemental Security Income, the applicant must have limited income and a small number of assets,” continued attorney Viera. “Any wages or money earned from working is considered income, as well as money received from other sources. When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, other factors are considered including work experience and the potential for employment in the current economy.”

To learn more about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) and whether you are eligible to receive benefits, contact Tampa Bay’s premier legal team of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. Located in Clearwater, Florida, the law office of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. has been serving the Tampa Bay area community for over 46 years, delivering innovative practice and proven litigation skills. For more information about Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A., visit the firm website at CarlsonMeissner.com or contact the office directly at 877-728-9653.

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Mary Ann Bounacos
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