Yes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two programs that provide monthly payments to disabled individuals: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In some cases, you may be eligible to collect benefits from both programs at once, something the SSA calls concurrent benefits. Here’s what you should know about the SSDI and SSI disability programs when you might qualify for concurrent benefits and how the knowledgeable and experienced Boston attorneys with Keefe Disability Law can help you navigate the application process.
SSDI Versus SSI
Though Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) both provide monthly payments to people who qualify, the programs have very different eligibility requirements.
SSDI is a payroll-tax-funded government program for disabled workers. Eligibility is based on whether the applicant amassed enough work credits by working in jobs that pay into the Social Security trust fund through a dedicated payroll tax with contributions from workers and their employers.
SSI is a needs-based program for individuals with low incomes and very limited financial resources who are disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old. Unlike SSDI, SSI has nothing to do with your employment or earnings history. In fact, applicants can qualify for SSI even if they’ve never worked.
Qualifying for Concurrent Benefits
It is sometimes possible to get concurrent disability benefits, collecting both SSDI and SSI at the same time. This could happen if you are approved for SSDI but receive a small monthly benefit award based on a history of low-wage earnings or because you haven’t worked much in the past ten years. If your total income, including SSDI, is less than the current SSI monthly payment amount ($841 in 2022), you may qualify for concurrent benefits. However, things like SSI asset limits ($2,000 in countable resources for individuals and $3,000 for couples in 2022), state income limits, income earned during trial work periods, and other factors can affect your eligibility. To understand how your specific circumstances could impact your eligibility for SSDI and SSI benefits, talk to an experienced disability attorney who’s successfully handled concurrent benefit claims.
Understanding the Benefits of a Concurrent Claim
The main and most obvious benefit of a concurrent disability claim is that, if approved, it allows you to raise a low monthly SSDI payment to the SSI maximum ($841 per month in 2022), but that’s far from the only benefit. Approval for benefits can take months or years, but with a concurrent claim, you may be eligible for back pay from both SSDI and SSI for some of the time you spent waiting. Other benefits include:
- Both programs can help you access needed health care (Medicaid for SSI and Medicare for SSDI)
- SSI benefits start immediately after approval, while SSDI benefits have a five-month waiting period; a concurrent claim lets you collect SSI benefits while you wait for SSDI benefits to begin
Applying for Concurrent Benefits
The Social Security disability application process is notoriously frustrating, with up to 70 percent of applicants initially denied benefits. With that in mind, you might expect the process for applying for SSDI and SSI to be twice as complicated. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. When you complete and submit your application for either disability program, the SSA determines which program you qualify for and whether you’re eligible for concurrent benefits.
Get Experienced Help With Your Social Security Disability Application
When you can’t work due to disability and are counting on much-needed SSDI or SSI benefits, there’s far too much at stake to go it alone. Working with a seasoned disability attorney when preparing your application can help you avoid common mistakes that lead to denied claims and increase your chances for approval. Ready to find out how we can assist you?
Schedule a Consultation
Complete our online contact form or call us at 508-283-5500 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation with a member of the Keefe Disability Law legal team.