You Can Qualify for Both SSDI and SSI Benefits if You’re Disabled


As a Richmond disability lawyer and Virginia Beach SSD attorney I often represent adults who have a concurrent claim pending with the Social Security Administration (SSA). You have a concurrent claim when you’re seeking both Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It’s possible to receive both SSDI and SSI when you have a low primary insurance amount and do not receive much in monthly SSDI benefits.


How You Apply for Concurrent Benefits under Both SSDI and SSI


When you apply for disability benefits the SSA will review your earnings history and ask for financial information regarding your current assets, resources, and income. Depending on your answers and financial situation the SSA will decide whether to process an application for SSDI, an application for SSI, or an application for benefits under both programs.


The SSA processes claims for SSDI and SSI the same way. This is because the SSA’s definition of medical disability is the same under both programs. So no matter what program or pr


What Causes a Low Monthly SSDI Benefit Amount


You may have a low monthly SSDI benefit amount if:


  • You became disabled at an early age before you were able to build a significant work history and increase your earnings
  • You worked but earned low wages throughout your career
  • You have a strong work history but did not work or earn much during the 5 year period before you became disabled
  • You do not have a strong work history but earned just enough to get sufficient work credits for the SSDI program


Qualifying for SSI While Receiving SSDI


SSI is a disability program based on income, assets, and financial need. If you have too much income or too many assets, you cannot receive SSI even if you’re disabled medically under the Social Security Act.


When determining whether you meet the financial requirements for the need-based SSI program, the SSA will look at your income from “countable sources.” Your countable income is any income you earn from working as well as several other types of income that do not come from work.


SSDI payments are considered income under the SSI program. So any money you receive from the SSDI program will count toward your income under the SSI program.


To receive SSI while also receiving monthly SSDI payments, your countable income must be lower than $735 per month. It’s possible therefore to receive both SSDI and SSI payments if your monthly SSDI benefit amount is less than $735.


Even if your SSDI payment is less than $735 per month, you may still have too many assets to qualify for SSI.¬†This is especially true if you do not get approved for benefits until after a disability hearing and receive a large award of back pay as part of your disability claim. If you receive more than $3,000 in back pay then it’s likely that you will not qualify financially for SSI.


My Monthly SSDI Benefit Amount is Low Enough that I Can Also Receive SSI. Will My SSDI Payment Affect My SSI Payment?


Yes. Receiving SSDI benefits will affect the amount of your monthly SSI payment. Your SSI payment will be lowered by the amount of your SSDI payment so that the total amount you receive each month is equal to the maximum SSI payment.


Is There A Benefit to Having a Concurrent Claim with the Social Security Administration?


Yes, you should apply for both SSDI and SSI payments if you meet the non-medical requirements for both programs.


The benefit of collecting SSI when you are collecting a low monthly SSDI payment is that the SSI payment will increase the amount you receive each month so that you collect $735 per month. Every dollar helps when you are trying to survive.


The benefit of collecting SSDI when you are eligible for SSI is that you will become eligible for Medicare after you get approved for SSDI. Medicare will improve your medical treatment options so that you can focus on your recovery and trying to have a higher quality of life. Individuals who qualify for SSI only are not eligible for Medicare. They must use Medicaid, which is not as good medical coverage program as Medicare.


To learn more about the benefits of collecting both SSDI and SSI in Virginia, call, text, or email Corey Pollard today.