Search Site

Alabama Disability Attorneys: What’ Difference between SSDI and SSI Benefits

Alabama Disability Attorney: What’s the Difference between SSDI and SSI Benefits?

As has been shown in some of our earlier posts, SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance.  To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must show that (i) you meet the legal definition of being disabled and (ii) that you are insured for disability purposes. You become insured for disability purposes by paying your social security taxes while being able to work. There are four quarters in each financial year, and you can “earn” up to 4 credits per year. To be fully insured for disability benefits, you must have 20 out of 40 credits, which breaks down to having worked 5 of the last 10 years. So, if you have a good work history and last worked in 2009, you should be insured through 2014 (5 years out).

How much assets you have is immaterial. If you have earned enough credits and meet the legal definition of being disabled, you are entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits-even if you are worth over a million dollars.

You may also be legally disabled, but unable to draw SSDI benefits due to a lack of credits-although you may still be entitled to SSI benefits.

SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Like SSDI benefits, there are two hurdles you must clear to be eligible for benefits. First, you must first show that you meet the legal definition of being disabled. Secondly, you must not have more than $2,000.00 ($3,000.00 for a married couple) in assets.

The reason for the asset limitation is because Supplemental Security Insurance benefits is a “needs based” program. It is a social safety net for persons incapable of substantial gainful employment who do not qualify for SSDI benefits. You may be found to be disabled, but still unable to draw SSI benefits if you have too much in assets.  Resource limit exclusions include the home that an individual or couple live in and the land it is on, and one vehicle (generally the highest valued vehicle). Any other resource that can be converted to cash counts against the resource limit. Resources could be extra vehicles, land, cash, jewelry, stocks, bonds, 401 K plans, trust funds, bank checking or savings accounts, etc.

If you believe that you are disabled and you have questions about your right to Social Security disability benefits, or if you need help in appealing your case, please do not hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t

Offices located in Huntsville, AL and Hoover, AL

Powell and Denny has been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 5 years.



Alabama Disability Attorney Difference between SSDI and SSI Benefits

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Our Office
  • Birmingham Office
    1320 Alford Avenue
    Suite 201
    Birmingham, Alabama 35226
    Phone: 205-978-2051
    Fax: 205-978-2054
  • Huntsville Office
    600 Boulevard South
    SW Suite 104
    Huntsville, Alabama 35802
    Phone: 256-705-3510
    Fax: 256-705-3513

We Wrote the Book

My Alabama Disability Claim
by William Powell & Gregory Denny
Click Here to Get Your Free Copy