If you’re newly disabled, then understanding the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be completely foreign to you.

SSDI payments are funded from a disability trust fund and are intended to help individuals who are either blind or disabled cover some of their basic expenses. SSI payments are funded by a general tax fund and cover the same individuals that SSDI payments do plus the elderly and disabled children.

SSI benefits are also different from SSDI ones in that individual states may provide recipients with supplemental support that can be used to cover their expenses in addition to what the federal government provides.

In order to qualify to receive either SDDI or SSI benefits, an individual must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability criteria.

An individual’s ability to qualify to receive SSDI is contingent upon whether they, their spouse or parents have worked enough to build up their Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) contributions. In order to qualify for SSI, the prospective recipient must have limited income.

No matter whether an individual qualifies for SSDI or SSI, they too will be provided with insurance coverage in the form of Medicaid to help cover their health expenses.

A determination as to how much in SSDI that an individual will receive is completely contingent upon how much in lifetime earnings that a person has earned. Those earnings must have been covered by Social Security.

If someone receives disability payments from another source or even workers’ compensation benefits, then it may reduce the amount of SSDI payments that they qualify for.

As for SSI payments, how much an individual will receive is contingent upon the established Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) and how much in income that they make. Currently, the FBR is $750 for an individual and $1,125 for a couple. The SSA will take the FBR amount and subtract a recipient’s monthly income from it. They’ll then add in any state payments that they qualify for to reach their payment amount.

Many people who have documented disabilities fail to have their claims for SSDI and SSI approved on the first attempt. Many must appeal the SSA’s denials once or more before their request for benefits is ultimately approved. Having an experienced Knoxville Social Security Disability attorney guide you through every step of the process can give you the best chance of achieving success.