Are SSDI and SSI the same thing?

Social Security Disability Insurance is abbreviated as SSDI. This is a disability program for individuals who have worked enough quarters to be eligible for the benefits, or for widows/widowers of eligible workers, or the adult children of eligible workers who meet the disability rules prior to age 22 and have not married. Supplemental Security Income is abbreviated as SSI. It is a needs-based disability program that is available for individuals who have not worked enough quarters to be eligible for SSDI benefits, but who suffer severe disabling conditions and have limited income and resources.

What Is The Difference Between SSI And SSDI?

While SSI and SSDI have the same medical qualifying process, they have very different nonmedical qualifications that must be met. These non-medical qualifications must be met before your medical conditions and limitations are actually considered. SSI non-medical eligibility is largely based on total household income and resources. This can include your spouse’s income, other various benefits, and any benefits received by minor children. The specific income limits vary from household to household, depending on the number of children, the kind of income/benefits received and a variety of other considerations. SSDI non-medical eligibility is primarily based on your own personal work history, and monies paid into the Social Security Administration (SSA). When you work, and pay into SSA, you receive credits. You must have 40 credits within a certain time frame in order to qualify for SSDI. These credits also have an ‘expiration date’ (Date Last Insured). Your disability must have met the severity requirements prior to this date in order to obtain benefits. Once this date has passed, proving your disability existed prior to this date can be much more difficult. This is why it is important not to wait in order to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

Based on your individual circumstances, you may qualify for one or the other, or even both. As part of our application process, we automatically apply for both, so that our clients don’t miss out on any possible benefits for which they may be eligible.

If you receive notice that you do not meet the non-medical qualifications, please understand, this in no way means that you are not disabled. This is not a reflection on your medical conditions at all. It simply means that SSA does not believe you are eligible for benefits. These facts should always be reviewed for accuracy. Sound confusing? Social Security regulations and rules are certainly complicated. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are very confusing areas of law. When you are trying to get the benefits you need for a long-term injury, illness or mental condition, not having the answers you need may be keeping you from securing the benefits you deserve. I am attorney Angela Davis-Morris, and I have made a career helping the people of Mississippi secure the disability benefits they deserve. At my office, Davis-Morris Law Firm, we can answer the many important questions surrounding these benefits.

What To Do After The SSA Denies Your Application?

When a serious injury or illness lasts for a year or more and keeps you from making a living by working, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are often the only lifeline a person has in order to take care of themselves. The necessity of this income is part of what can make it so crushing to have the SSA deny your disability claim. Despite their denial, there is still hope in securing your benefits.

At Davis-Morris Law Firm, you can find a Mississippi attorney with the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for your disability benefits. I am attorney Angela Davis-Morris, and I can help you appeal a disability benefits denial to secure the benefits you deserve.

What Does The Appeals Process Look Like?

The Social Security disability appeals process includes several stages after you received an initial denial. I can help you through each stage of the process, including:

  1. Application Denial – File an Appeal or Reconsideration. Do not file a new application. This starts a new claim. Keep your original claim going by filing your Reconsideration.
  2. Reconsideration – A written request to reconsider the application is due with 60 days of the receipt of the initial denial. The Social Security Administration will then reconsider your claim. Afterwards you will receive a notice of their reconsideration determination. If it is not in your favor, appeal again and Request a Hearing.
  3. Request for Hearing – If the SSA denies your Request for Reconsideration, you can appeal by filing a Request for Hearing within 60 days of your receipt of the denial. This will lead to a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This hearing can be by telephone, video or in person. You get to choose how you wish to present your case to the ALJ decision-maker. This is the best opportunity to convince the Social Security Administration that you meet the rules for disability and it should be taken very seriously.
    You should be prepared by your representative as to the laws that apply in your particular case and about the specific facts in your case that may make the most impact on the outcome. You should make every effort to win an award of benefits at this level. If, however, you receive a denial of benefits (i.e. Unfavorable Decision), there is an administrative appeal available to you. It is a Request for Review by the Appeals Council.
  4. Appeals Council – If the judge from your hearing denies your disability claim, we can take your case to the Appeals Council for review. This is the last level of administrative review and is an appeal on paper only. It is an opportunity to point out any errors the ALJ made in their decision that would have changed the outcome had the evidence been considered correctly. The Appeals Council will decide whether or not to take another look at your case. If they chose to review it, they can issue an order approving, denying or remanding your case for further consideration by an Administrative Law Judge.
  5. Federal court – If you do not agree with the result from Appeals Council, the final stage of the process is taking your claim to Federal Court. The decision to take any case to Federal Court should not be taken lightly for many reasons. First, it is a potentially expensive appeal. It takes a prolonged period of time and if the wrong fact scenario is appealed to Federal Court, bad law could result for everyone.

No matter how far you need to take your claim for disability benefits, I will do everything in my power to prepare your strongest possible case as to why you meet the applicable disability rules and should have been awarded disability benefits. I am not a lawyer who gives up when things get hard, and I am prepared to do what it takes to help you secure the resolution you deserve.

Start Your Application Process Today

If the SSA denied your application for disability benefits, do not give up. I can help you appeal your case to prove you deserve the benefits you need to help with your illness or injury. Call my office in Hattiesburg at 601-602-8874 or email to schedule a consultation today. I can assist clients throughout South-Central Mississippi.