When you are applying for disability from the Social Security Administration, you may find out that you don't qualify for disability, but do qualify for SSI. What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?
Supplemental Security Insurance
SSI is a program that is designed to help people who don't qualify for SSDI, but who may have lost the ability to work. SSI is something called a needs-based program that is also means tested. Needs-based means that it is available to you depending on your income and assets. Means-tested means that it doesn't depend on any work history that you might have. Instead, it counts your income.
The way that it works is that you actually apply for SSDI, since there really isn't a separate application for SSI. When you provide all your information, work history, health history, and income, the people who evaluate your case may tell you that you get SSI instead of SSDI.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is a program that is for people who are disabled and can't work anymore. In order to get SSDI, you have to have a certain amount of work credits in. Work credits mean that you worked a certain amount of quarters, a quarter being a period of 3 months. If you have worked the qualifying amount of work credits, you may be able to receive SSDI.
The other aspect of getting SSDI is that you have to have a qualifying diagnosis. That diagnosis also has to have a significant impact on your life, enough so that you are aren't able to work anymore. When you apply, you will have to provide information from any and all doctors that you see, or have seen. You may also have to talk to medical evaluators for the SSA. That can happen if the SSA evaluators think that your disabling condition is borderline. You will talk to their medical evaluators and may have to have a physical exam if your condition is something physical.
If you have applied for SSDI and have been told that you don't qualify for SSDI or SSI, you can go to a lawyer and have them help you through the appeal process. You always have the right to appeal, and you also have the right to have help. The lawyer generally won't take money up front, but will take a percentage of the settlement that you will receive when you are approved for SSI or SSDI.
Talk to a legal professional like Bruce K Billman to learn more.