SSI & SSDI Assistance

How to Tell if you may be eligible for SSDI or SSI by the Social Security definition of disability, which is:

“The inability to do any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment,

[or combination of impairments], which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”  SGA in 2017 is $1,170.

To be eligible for SSDI the person has worked at least 5yrs (20 quarters) out of the last 10 yrs., they DO NOT have to be consecutive.  The duration of worked required can fluctuate based on the age of the onset of disability.
SSI is a NEEDS based program, based on income and assets.

SSDI & SSI Differences


  • Benefit for insured individuals
  • Benefit amount is based on FICA
  • No limits on assets/resources
  • Living arrangement has no affect on
    benefit amount or eligibility
  • Medicare eligibility usually comes after
    two years of SSDI benefits
  • Work incentive allow for 9-month trial work
    period (TWP) during which full benefits are received


  • Benefit for disabled, elderly, and blind individuals who have very low income
  • Benefit is the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), plus available State supplement
  • Limits on assets/resources
  • Living arrangement may affect benefit amount and eligibility
  • Medicaid eligibility usually comes with SSI
  • Eligibility usually begins the 1st of the full month following the date of application OR protective filing date
  • Work incentives usually apply immediately after work begins